Christopher Collins, Executive Director
Chris Collins has helmed Solar One since 2004. A graduate of Holy Cross College and Albany Law School, Chris previously worked for 20 years as a litigator in both New York and California, specializing in complex commercial litigation, environmental litigation, civil rights, securities, elder abuse and many other areas of the law. After leaving the law in 1999, Chris worked as a Director at Oracle Corp. and as a Director of Risk Management at Sapient. Born and raised in the NYC area, Chris moved to San Francisco in 1988 and returned to New York to take the position of Executive Director at Solar One. He has had a long history of working with non-profit organizations, including being one of the founders of New York City’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Community Services Center and the Callan-Lourde Health Clinic. He served as Co-chair of the LGBT Center between 1985 and 1989. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force between 1991 and 1996 and served as Board Co-chair between 1994 and 1996.
Esther Siskind, Director of Programs
Esther comes to Solar One from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection where she managed a wide range of water, wastewater, and stormwater projects. She was a lead developer of New York City’s Green Infrastructure Plan that proposes green infrastructure and water conservation as integral components of a comprehensive strategy to address combined sewer overflows and defer large grey infrastructure investments. With a Masters Degree in Urban Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Esther has worked for over 20 years as an environmental planner and brings a wide range of policy, project management, and technical skills to her job. She has also worked as a community organizer and co-founded a kids club that focused on learning about environmental issues and taking action to address them. Esther was born and raised in New York City and worked here for most of her career, bringing an in-depth knowledge of how to be effective and produce results in the City’s complex landscape.
Sarah Pidgeon joined Solar One in 2009 as one of two Education staff. Now, with over 10 educators on board, she is thrilled to be able to offer Solar One education programs to more NYC schools each year. Sarah is excited about the growth of Solar One’s Green Design Lab Program and she is passionate about inspiring NYC students to bring sustainability into their schools and communities. Prior to joining Solar One, Sarah worked as an educator for several years at the Center for the Urban Environment in Brooklyn, where she taught classes in Urban Design and Ecology. However, her real passion for environmental education began during her childhood spent as a camper and staff member at Frost Valley YMCA in the Catskill Mountains, where she was first exposed to sustainable practices like composting food waste. When she is not busy teaching about all things sustainable, Sarah enjoys riding her bike, cooking, and drawing.
Dawne Adams, Assistant Director for High School Programs
Fronsy Thurman, Assistant Director for Instruction
Joe Chavez, Educator
Alex Smith, Educator
Jauna Johnson, Educator
Dina Elkan, Director, Arts & Events
Dina Elkan joined the Solar One staff in 2007 after an eclectic career in arts administration, music and theater performance, web and graphic design, and event and arts production. Born and raised in downtown Manhattan, she graduated from the High School of Performing Arts with a degree in music performance and attended Barnard College. After leaving the hallowed halls of higher education, she re-immersed herself in the downtown art scene, working with groups such as Bad Neighbors, Protean Forms Collective, ABC No Rio, Gargoyle Mechanique Lab, the Bowery Poetry Club and Magbana Drum & Dance. As a member of King Missile III, she performed in venues throughout NYC, the US and Europe, releasing six albums over a period of ten years. She is also an avid crafter, crocheter, sewer and maker, often using recycled or organic materials.
Tamar Rogoff, Founding Artistic Director
Marisa Buxbaum, Program Assistant
Ismail Ocasio, Assistant Director for Training
James Kinyanjui, Training Site Manager
Josh Vedder, Training Site Manager
Daisy Hoyt, Park Manager
Daisy Hoyt has always had an interest in all things green and growing, from her rural beginnings upstate, where her parents named her after a flower, to her adult career, where she has held many different jobs in horticulture. In 2007, she brought her skills to NYC, where she began working in landscaping and the arts. Soon after, she began at Solar One, and in 2010 she became the Park Manager. Daisy fully supports and believes in Stuyvesant Cove Park’s mission to use only native plants and sustainable practices. She has an abiding affection for all her plants, and enjoys meeting all the characters who come through the park- especially if she can get them to volunteer.
Chris Fowler, Park Maintenance
Philip Clark, Director, EDGE Program
Senior energy professional with over 30 years of experience managing outsourced complex client engagements, for strategy development, IT solutions, supply- chain, sustainability, procurement, budgeting, forecasting and project planning along with sales management & business development for national and global clients on an outsourcing basis.
Philip’s experience includes working for several New York City utility companies, national ESCO’s and energy auditing/consulting firms for such notable clients include Port Authority of NY/NJ, Citifield, Amtrak, Fuji, NA, Saks 5th Ave.
Max Joel, Director, Community Solar Iniatives
Max Joel joined Solar One in 2009 as the Director of the Energy Connections Program. He also serves as a NYSERDA Energy $mart Community Coordinator for Manhattan and Staten Island. Since joining Solar One, Max has developed outreach projects, educational programs, and community partnerships to help make all New Yorkers part of our City’s ambitious efforts to combat climate change and develop a clean, green economy. Prior to Solar One, Max was the Capital Projects Coordinator for the Queens Botanical Garden during a period that saw the construction of a green Visitor Center, new native plant gardens, and other facilities and exhibits. He holds a BA in Urban Studies from Columbia University, a Master’s degree in Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, and is a LEED Accredited Professional. His interests include solar-powered dance parties, besting supercomputers at general knowledge competitions, and gingerbread city planning.
Sara Jayanthi, Senior Energy $mart Communities Coordinator
Gary Smith, Tenant Education Program Coordinator
Cynthia Ngombe, Bronx Regional Outreach Coordinator
Helen Hooke brings 20 years of experience to Solar One from her work as Director of Finance and Administration of the Law Firm of Hollyer Brady Barrett & Hines LLP and Secretary and Director of the Winfield Foundation. She has a BA from Smith College, and Certification as a Non-Profit Accounting Professional from the Financial Management Association. She also has a Certificate in PV Installation from Solar Energy International, and designed and built her solar-powered home. She is originally from Rochester, NY, and studied at the Eastman School of Music Preparatory School. She also writes, performs, and records in the field of music with her original group The Deadly Nightshade, as a side musician on violin, and with her own band, the Helen Hooke Band, and has her musical work released on many recordings and CD’s. She is an avid gardener.
Marc Brodeur, Operations Manager
Jamie Paquette, Operations Consultant
Roberto Rodriguez, IT Technician
Linda Lagomarsino, Administrative Assistant
Dahlia Darwiche, Administrative Assistant
Lawrence Horne recently joined the Solar One team as Development Director. Previously, he served as Vice President of Development and Communications at the Believe High Schools Network, a charter school management organization administering three charter high schools in Brooklyn. Prior to working with Believe High Schools Network, he held executive and development positions at Hetrick-Martin Institute, the Public Theater, California State University, Los Angeles and Claremont Graduate University. He was founder and Executive Director of Outfest, the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, and has provided management and development consulting for clients including the Public Theater, Reboot, Independent Television Service, Melting Pot Theatre Company, Design Trust for Public Space, and the National Coalition Against Censorship. He has an MA in Film History and Theory from UCLA, a BA from SUNY-Binghamton, and studied in Paris at the American Center for Cinema Studies and the Sorbonne.
Sarah Holloway, Senior Development Consultant
James Ryan, External Affairs Associate
Maya Brym, Grant Writer
Deana Hare, Grant Writer
Adam Bezer, Graphic Design