Metro CERT team members

Metro CERT Annual Event celebrates projects and partners in 2021

While we had hoped to have our 2021 Metro CERT Annual Event in person, it was prudent to keep it online for the safety of all the participants and speakers. 


The event was in many ways a follow up to the Annual Event in 2020, where we focused on the role of clean energy in the rebuild following the murder of George Floyd. The keynote presentation was by Abe Demmaj, owner of G & L Furniture and the building housing the business. Abe shared his story about rebuilding part of his building that was damaged during the uprising. While he always planned on adding solar to his building, after the unrest, he was determined to add solar training for youth in his south Minneapolis community. He used his resources and reached out to the staff at the Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources, the City of Minneapolis, and the community to gather information and tools to create a youth solar training program that could be housed on the third floor of his building. Watch Abe’s story.
Read more about his building.

Lightning Talks

Instead of our traditional Metro CERT “year in review” delivered by me, we asked some of our super engaged and smart steering committee members to share work they participated in via three-minute lightning talks. It was a great way to share the work of the Metro CERT team and highlight the incredible steering committee members that help set the programmatic and funding priorities for the region. The topics and steering committee members are listed below and viewable on YouTube:

  • Cities Charging Ahead/Cities and Electric Vehicles – Jennifer McLoughlin, City of Woodbury.
  • CERTs Seed Grants – John Suzukida, Shoreview Environmental Quality Committee.
  • Reducing Energy Burden with Outreach & Education - Stacy Boots Camp, Center for Energy and Environment.
  • Solar Schools – Bill Sierks, Retired Environmental Manager & Attorney.
  • Energy Assistance Program (EAP) Outreach – Erin Smith, City of Carver.
  • LatinxFocused Small Business Energy Efficiency – Carmen Carruthers.
  • Green Cost Share/Clean Energy Funding for Businesses – Leah Hiniker, Hennepin County. 

If you are interested in joining our Metro CERT steering committee please send an email to [email protected] Indicate your community-based clean energy interest and background, and why you would like to join the team, by November 1, 2021. 

Final Presentation

The final presentation came from Shannon Crabtree, Senior Planner & Community Development Manager with HOURCAR, about their 2020 seed grant project to conduct outreach and engagement in communities to understand barriers and concerns for their new EV sharing program. Watch Shannon’s presentation.

We wrapped up the event with one-on-one networking and a game of clean energy trivia.


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