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Metro CERT welcomes new Steering Committee members

Welcome!

 

Metro CERT is excited to welcome three new members to our Steering Committee as we kick off 2021: Marisa Bayer, Gardyartu M. Freeman, and Bill Sierks.

We asked them to introduce themselves, talk a bit about their background and interest in clean energy, and let us know what drew them to help guide our work. Welcome!

 

I am looking forward to bringing my perspective of community’s relationships and priorities related to clean energy; and my previous work experience in community development and neighborhood stabilization bringing knowledge of housing and economic development activities and the unique opportunities for clean energy integration.

Marisa Bayer, Center for Energy and Environment

Marisa Bayer is currently the Community Energy Program Manager at Center for Energy and Environment (CEE), a longtime partner of CERTs. Marisa’s work at CEE is focused on community energy planning and implementation to achieve goals for achieving increased energy efficiency and renewable energy support. Her primary responsibilities include overseeing community planning and implementation activities for the Partners in Energy (PiE) program, facilitating workshops to create goals and tactics, and supporting strategic development of CEE’s community energy services.

Before CEE, Marisa was the community development coordinator for the City of Eden Prairie, working to promote different economic development and affordable housing initiatives; and program manager at the National Community Stabilization Trust where she supported acquisition-based neighborhood stabilization strategies across the US.

Marisa is interested in being involved with the Metro CERT Steering Committee to further her work supporting underserved communities, businesses, and cities to take advantage of clean energy opportunities. She appreciates being involved in identifying creative approaches and solutions with CERTs core target audiences to ensure equitable access. "I am looking forward to bringing my perspective of community’s relationships and priorities related to clean energy; and my previous work experience in community development and neighborhood stabilization bringing knowledge of housing and economic development activities and the unique opportunities for clean energy integration."

I am excited to bring my passion, knowledge and education and inspiration to bear at the community level.

Gardyartu M. Freeman, student

Gardyartu is currently a senior student at Bemidji State University, studying Applied Engineering with an expected graduation in May 2021. She also has an application for a master’s program in Renewable Energy Engineering under review at Oregon Institute of Technology. Gardyartu is pursuing a future endeavor in the clean energy industry because she strongly believes the world needs clean energy for a healthier generation.

Gardyartu has been passionate about clean and sustainable energy since she graduated from Hennepin Technical College in May 2017 with an Associate Degree in Engineering CAD Technology. Gardyartu worked as an electrical drafter at Design Ready Controls Inc. for the past three years. In addition, she has a history of community work volunteering with High Tech Kids, mentoring a team of girls building LEGO projects. Her long-term goal is to become a consultant in the energy industry.

Gardyartu is interested in being a member of CERTs Steering Committee so she can contribute to the research, development, and implementation of clean energy advances, beginning with the local community and then extending to the world. She brings experience of electrical control panels design and manufacturing. "I am excited to bring my passion, knowledge and education and inspiration to bear at the community level."

CERT members are not only very knowledge and highly effective, you also really enjoy your work and each other. Being highly effective in advancing clean energy initiatives AND having a lot of fun while you’re working together is a wonderful combination.

Bill Sierks, Retired Environmental Manager & Attorney

Bill Sierks has worked on promoting environmental sustainability and clean energy for many years both professionally and in his community. Bill has been an Edina MN Resident for 25 + years.  Bill retired from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) in March 2019 after working for many years in environmental sustainability and energy programs. As part of his work at the MPCA, Bill worked closely with CERTs on the GreenStep Cities program and the Minnesota Schools Cutting Carbon project. Bill also worked as an environmental attorney at both the federal and state levels for a number of years before joining the MPCA as a program manager.

Bill was a member and two-time chair of Edina’s Energy and Environment Commission for 8+ years. While Bill was on the City’s Energy Commission, Edina became one of the original five GreenStep Cities; became the first city in Minnesota to host a Community Solar Garden (assisted by a technical assistance grant through CERTs); and was the first city in the Midwest to enact an ordinance establishing Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, now a statewide program through St. Paul Port Authority.

Most recently, Bill joined Edina’s Rotary Club and set up an Environmental Sustainability Committee there earlier this year.  He is now partnering with Uptown Minneapolis Rotary Club to fund a project to plant trees in historically under-resourced communities in the Twin Cities and recruiting other area Rotary clubs to join.

Bill is excited to work with the Steering Committee to expand local clean energy projects in the eleven-county Metro CERT region. "CERTs members are not only very knowledge and highly effective, you also really enjoy your work and each other. Being highly effective in advancing clean energy initiatives AND having a lot of fun while you’re working together is a wonderful combination."

We are excited to have Marisa, Gardyartu and Bill join our Metro CERT team!

Read about new members in 2020

 

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