Celebrating 20 years

CERTsies: Where are they now?

June 2023

We may be biased, but careers in the world of clean energy are rewarding on so many levels!

Not only is clean energy a rapidly growing field with myriad opportunities regardless of where you are on your career pathway, there are wonderful people to meet along the way.

As we reflect on 20 years of the Clean Energy Resource Teams, the faces of our fellow CERTsies shine bright in our minds. Aside from folks who recently took on grand endeavors across the state (Lissa Pawlish, Chris Meyer, and Kristoffer Acuña), we pulled a few names from a hat of CERTsies we think you should know.


  1.  Dan Thiede former Director of Communications, now Senior Communications Officer, McKnight Foundation.
  2.  Julia Eagles former Metro CERT Organizer, now Associate Director of Utility and Regulatory Strategy, Institute for Market Transformation.
  3.  Jeff Vetsch former West Central CERT Coordinator, now Community Philanthropy Officer at Southwest Initiative Foundation.
  4.  Katie Jones former GreenCorps member for statewide CERTs, now Community Program and Policy Manager at Center for Energy and the Environment.
  5.  Fritz Ebinger former Rural Energy Development Program Manager, now Project Developer, Nokomis Energy.
  6.  Michelle Palm former Southeast CERT Coordinator, now Waste Wise Program Manager, MN Chamber of Commerce.
  7.  Chris Walz former Northwest CERT Coordinator, now Sales Manager at Otter Tail Power Company.  
  8.  Kristi Fernholz former West Central CERT Coordinator, now Community Development Senior Planner for Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission.
  9.  Carl Samuelson former Metro CERT Organizer, now Product Manager, Michaels Energy.
  10.  Susan Waughtal former Southeast CERT Coordinator, now owner of Squash Blossom Farm.
  11.  Trevor Drake former GreenCorps member and Metro CERT Organizer, now Interim Vice President of Energy Systems, Great Plains Institute.
  12.  Sarah Hayden Shaw former Central CERT Coordinator, now owner of Sage on Laurel.
  13.  Michelle Vigen Ralston former Behavior Change and Metrics Coordinator, now Principal and Founder of Common Spark Consulting.
  14.  Joel Anastasio former Northwest CERT Coordinator, now Lead Rate Specialist at Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority.
  15.  Lindsay Anderson former Outreach Coordinator, now Analyst & Research Planner, Minnesota Department of Commerce Division of Energy Resources, Conservation Improvement Program.
  16.  Dr. Anna Carlson former Northwest CERT Coordinator, now Environmental Studies Professor at Bemidji State University.
  17.  Patrick Santelli former Program Coordinator, now Compliance Program Manager at Electronic Manufacturers Recycling Management Company.
  18.  Erin Smith former West Central CERT Coordinator, now Community Development Director for the City of Carver.
  19.  Patrick Mathwig former Metro CERT Intern, then GreenCorps member, and then Metro CERT Organizer, now Energy Services Representative at Dakota Electric Association.
  20.  David Abazs former Northeast CERT Coordinator, now Executive Director of Northeast Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships.

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