Stephen Levin, Chief Executive Officer
Stephen grew up in Plainfield, New Jersey and after graduating from Brown University in 2003, came to Brooklyn to work as a Community Organizer. He worked in the Housing office of Riseboro Community Partnerships (formerly Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council) in Bushwick, Brooklyn from 2004-2006, running a Lead Safe House Program which relocated lead-poisoned children and their families and an Anti-Predatory Lending Program which worked with distressed neighborhood property owners to address the proliferation of predatory lending practices. From 2006-2009, Stephen worked with the New York State Assembly, where he worked on affordable housing legislation that affected thousands of New York State residents. Stephen was elected to the New York City Council in 2009 and served as Councilmember for the 33rd District in Brooklyn from 2010-2021. As Councilmember, Stephen negotiated dozens of land use projects and prioritized expanding affordable housing and open space including ensuring the City acquire and build the long-promised 27-acre Bushwick Inlet Park in Williamsburg. He sponsored legislation to remove PCBs from NYC schools and cosponsored the Climate Mobilization Act. From 2014-2021, Stephen served as Chair of the Council’s General Welfare Committee, overseeing the budgets and programming of the New York City Department of Social Services, Department of Homeless Services, and the Administration of Children’s Services. In this role, he focused on ensuring homeless individuals and families have access to permanent housing and that youth in foster care have long term support systems. He currently lives In Greenpoint, Brooklyn with his wife Ann and their two children.
Sarah Pidgeon, Co-Director of Programs
Sarah Pidgeon joined Solar One in 2009 and saw the growth of Green Design Lab from a small scale pilot to its current reach of over 800 schools. Sarah is passionate about inspiring NYC students to bring sustainability into their schools and communities. Prior to joining Solar One, Sarah worked as an educator 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. Sarah holds an MBA in Management for Mission Driven Organizations from Marlboro College in Vermont.
Karen Alsen, Director of K-12 Education
Karen Alsen is an environmental educator with diverse experience teaching science, sustainability, and arts programming to young people. She has taught and designed curricula for Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, City Science, Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, Bronx River Alliance, Sustainable Learning, and LeapNYC. Through these organizations, she has worked with dozens of schools all over NYC. Prior to becoming an educator, Karen worked for Scientific American and Nature Publishing Group. In addition to her love of science and the natural world, Karen is a musician and has travelled abroad, performing and teaching workshops on songwriting. Karen holds an MS in Environmental Education from Antioch University in Keene, NH.
Isabel Avina, Education Program Associate
Isabel Avina is a climate justice organizer and educator whose goal is to support deep connection to the Earth amongst students in urban environments, build coalitions to strengthen people-powered movements, and support youth leadership in the climate space. Isabel began working with Solar One in 2019 as an Environmental Educator, then in 2021 as a Curriculum Developer, and joined the team full-time in 2022 as Education Program Associate. Apart from their work with Solar One, Isabel served as a consultant for many years, designing and piloting climate education curricula, advocating for climate justice policy, and facilitating multi-stakeholder education programs and meetings with the goal of amplifying a justice-centered response to the climate crisis. Past collaborators include organizations like GrowNYC, the National Wildlife Federation, the Climate and Resilience Education Task Force, Start: Empowerment, and NYC’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Isabel is currently working on a book in collaboration with Tom Roderick titled Teaching for Climate Justice: A Vision for Transforming Education for Harvard Education Press. Isabel received their Master’s degree in Environmental Ethics from New York University and their Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from New York University.
Geovani Caldero, K-12 Environmental Educator & Workforce Instructor
Geovani Caldero joined Solar One in 2017 as an environmental educator with experience in teaching biology and environmental conservation in formal and non-formal settings. A graduate from New York University with a Masters in Environmental Conservation Education, Geovani was a conservation leader for the Student Conservation Association in New York City. He holds a B.A in Secondary Education with a major in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan. While growing up in Puerto Rico, Geovani spent time outdoors in the natural world inspired by the traditional music of Puerto Rico. He loves to play Cuatro and Panderos because this music increases his love of nature and for his homeland.
Vera Figueiredo, K-12 Environmental Educator, NJ
Vera Figueiredo joined Solar One in 2019 as an Environmental STEM Educator to expand STEM programming into Newark, NJ. Her experience in both formal and informal education shaped her philosophy of providing communities with knowledge and skills that can empower them to improve their environmental and social condition. Vera holds a Masters in Environmental Sciences from the Institute for the Environment and Sustainability at Miami University, OH. She has worked with organizations and schools in MD, DC, VA, PA, and NJ. Her passion for the natural world motivates her to seek and share the overlooked beauties of NJ.
Alex Nathanson, Solar Educator
Michaela Ritz, K-12 Environmental Educator
Michaela Ritz is a proud Bronx resident dedicated to cultivating people and the planet. Inspired by the ingenuity and spirit of communities she frequents, Michaela seeks out opportunities to merge stewardship with inclusivity, habitat integrity, and learning. She enjoys being outside as much as possible and has experience in urban agriculture, hydro- and aeroponic technology, youth development, and service oriented roles. When she is not knee deep in tomato plants, she can be found taking endless pictures of her surroundings on her phone and listening to music; this is in part a function of documenting the efforts of her family’s non-profit for some time. With an undergraduate degree in Geosciences and a minor in Environmental Studies, Michaela enjoys learning various perspectives in the pursuit of intertwining lived experience with education, work, and play.
Gabrielle Rodriguez, Education Program Manager
Gabrielle is a science communicator who advocates for ecological sustainability in her community by understanding environmental intersectionality, teaching community-based science and seeking nature-based environmental solutions. She is the education program manager for SolarOne’s Green Design Lab, a K-12 hands-on environmental sustainability organization. She believes that learning about the natural world and contributing to climate resiliency can be done at any age and with any educational background. Gabrielle worked at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City where she delivered professional learning in science education for adults as well as biology classes for K-12 students and their families. Gabrielle received her bachelors of science in Biological Sciences from Florida International University where she developed a love for community health, botany, and wildlife. Her passions merged during her graduate studies at Miami University’s Project Dragonfly, where she is obtaining her Masters in Biology. When Gabrielle is not advocating or working, she is outdoors: photographing, mapping, rock climbing, surfing, snowboarding, and observing the natural systems of her urban community.
GREEN WORKFORCE TRAINING
Max Levitzke, Director, Green Workforce
Max Levitzke joined Solar One in 2017 and leads the Green Workforce training program. He has had a passion for renewable energy since he was teenager and has done various work and research related to climate change, electric vehicles and the shift from fossil fuels to cleaner resources. Max studied Environmental Science and Business at the University of Missouri and graduated in 2013, with a move from the Midwest to the NYC shortly after. Before joining the Solar One team, Max worked in program management and operations at a renewable energy education start-up. He’s found great fulfillment in turning his excitement for renewables into a career that continues pushing for the growth of the clean energy industry through education, as well as providing those at need with sustainable job opportunities. In his free time, Max enjoys playing ice hockey, guitar and fine-tuning his cooking skills.
Shakira Hart, Director of Industry Engagement
Shakira joined Solar One in 2022 and leads the Green Workforce Industry Engagement program. Shakira is constantly looking for better ways to support positive outcomes for clients. She is inquisitive and thoughtful, drives innovation, and is open to new ideas from others. She enthusiastically takes risk on new approaches or pilot programs, mitigating that risk by preparing thoroughly, asking questions to resolve ambiguities, and collaborating across teams to ensure that nothing and, especially, no one, gets lost in the process. Shakira enjoys a grounded deep commitment to social justice and inclusion. The majority of Shakira’s experience to date has been in client-facing roles, which gives her thorough understanding of the clients we work with, the challenges they face, and what interventions are successful and why. Her goal is to continue to grow Solar One’s Industry Engagement program by working with cross functional teams and partners through inclusion, collaboration resulting in increased performance, profitability and the achievement of strategic objectives. Shakira brings a unique combination of strategy and creativity learning new initiatives in order to develop and improve workforce systems.
James Kinyanjui, Workforce Program Manager
James Kinyanjui joined Solar One’s Green Workforce Training program in 2010. He teaches and develops training curricula that aim to be enjoyable as well as educational – and has the utmost fun doing it! James is certified in BPI Building Analyst, BPI Multifamily Building Operator, GPRO Operations and Maintenance, and GPRO Electrical. Coming out of the IT industry, James graduated from DeVry University in 2007 with a degree in Network Communications. For three years he worked in computer network administration in both New York and Seattle. Teaching is something that James has always enjoyed doing. During high school, James volunteered at Big Brothers and Big Sisters of New York as a math tutor. In college, James held tutoring sessions for math and physics, and taught ABE math at two of Seattle’s correctional facilities. Back in New York, James volunteered at Strive for tutoring sessions in GED-Math prior to working for Solar One. The ability to share his love and appreciation of math and technical subjects is a major focal point and passion in his work.
Gary Smith, Instructor
Gary Smith came to Solar One in 2011 as the coordinator of Solar One’s Whole Buildings Education program where he helped buildings achieve energy savings and reduce their environmental impact through education, creating awareness, and encouraging behavior change. Gary joined Solar One’s Green Workforce Training program as an instructor in 2014. Gary is certified in BPI Building Analyst, BPI Multifamily Building Operator, and GPRO Operations and Maintenance . He has also completed Envirolution’s Win-Win Campaign for energy auditors. Prior to his work with Solar One, Gary served as an after school educator for Boys and Girls Harbor and taught GED math.
Joshua Vedder, Instructor
Joshua Vedder came to Solar One in 2012 as a Green Building Instructor. Josh teaches green building science, GPRO, and BPI Multifamily Building Operator as well as carpentry, plumbing and electrical. Formerly a trade school instructor, Josh has over ten years of experience in the building trades. During his first few years in the field, Josh was finishing up his degree from Dowling College as a pilot and had trained for two years as an electrical engineer. Josh is certified in BPI Building Analyst, BPI Multifamily Building Operator, GPRO Operations and Maintenance, and GPRO Electrical. Josh has spent many years volunteering and working with underserved youth. He found Solar One through Build it Green, where he still volunteers to this day.
Matthew Dean, Instructor
Matt Dean joined Solar One in 2019 as an instructor for the Green Workforce team. He brings previous experience as a senior Home Energy Score Mentor and Trainer, is a member of the National Association of Realtors Green Building Designation and New York State Association of Realtors Faculty Staff, and provides instruction as a BPI trainer. His specialization is in home energy training, auditing, and modeling; since he began teaching, Matt has worked with more than 2,000 students and has over 6,000 hours experience training classes.
EVENTS & STUYVESANT COVE PARK
Dina Elkan, Director, Events & Park
Dina Elkan has managed a myriad of arts, events and communications programs since joining Solar One 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.
Candace Thompson, Park Manager
Candace Thompson (all pronouns accepted) is the Park Manager at Solar One’s Stuy Cove Park as well as an artist, citizen scientist, educator, activist, and land steward. Candace collaborates with soil, plants, microbes, fungi, animals, food, land, digital media and other human beings in the search for healing, resilience, and mutualism as we face climate crisis. @solaroneatstuycove @the_c_u_r_b
HERE COMES SOLAR
Noah Ginsburg, Co-program Director; Director, Here Comes Solar
Noah joined Solar One in 2016, where he directs the Here Comes Solar program that seeks to spur the adoption of solar within NYC’s under-served market segments. From 2009-2011 Noah was a Solar Ombudsman at the City University of New York, working with the City to identify and address barriers to solar in NYC. In 2011 Noah moved to California to work as data analyst and technologist with leading solar startups including Sungevity, Sunrun and most recently OnGrid. While in California Noah volunteered as a Team Leader on more than 40 solar installations with GRID Alternatives, a non-profit solar installer that serves low-income homeowners, and earned his NABCEP PV installation certification in 2014. Noah is passionate about clean energy and the equitable distribution of its benefits within our society. Originally from Michigan, Noah moved to NYC in 2006 to complete a year of Americorps service, working as a mentor and tutor at a middle school in East Harlem. He completed his undergraduate degree in Renewable Energy at Hunter College and currently lives with his family in Washington Heights.
Angelica Ramdhari, Director, Resilient Solar
Angelica joined Solar One’s Here Comes Solar program in 2014 to coordinate the 1-4 family solar program. Angelica now managers Solar One’s resiliency programs (PV+energy storage). Angelica first got involved in renewable energy efforts at the University of Florida, where she helped start the Neutral Gator program to green the University’s athletics program and facilities. This project created energy reductions for low-income residents, which were then certified into carbon offsets that were applied to football games and other campus sporting events in order to make them carbon neutral. She then moved to New York to become involved with larger-scale urban green energy projects, first working on Con Edison’s energy efficiency programs for small businesses and later transitioning to small-scale solar energy installations in 2011.
Anika Wistar-Jones, Director, Affordable Solar
Anika Wistar-Jones has been making solar accessible to low-income New Yorkers since joining Solar One in 2016. She joined Solar One’s Here Comes Solar team after working in the environmental movement throughout New York and New England. As a grassroots organizer with Environment America she led campaigns against climate change and fracking, and in the political realm, she organized campaigns for Senator Markey in Massachusetts and Senator Murphy in Connecticut and worked for Senator Sanders in his Washington, DC office. More recently, she’s helped grow mission-driven solar and energy efficiency start ups in Vermont and New York. Born and raised in Vermont, Anika attended the United World College in Duino, Italy, and Middlebury College in Middlebury, VT, where she got her start in the environmental movement. When she’s not at Solar One, Anika can be found hiking in the woods, dancing in the streets, or getting lost in far-off places. She is passionate about environmental justice and the color blue.
José Tulio Gálvez Contreras, Solar Researcher and Program Manager
José joined Solar One in the spring of 2019 to assist with project management and develop solar research. He is culminating his doctoral studies in Public and Urban Policy at The New School for Public Engagement. His dissertation focuses on the intersection of environmental justice, workforce development, and the green economy. José holds two master’s degrees, one in public and urban policy and one environmental law and policy. He brings over a decade of expertise in sustainability planning, small business development, community organizing, and political engagement. José enjoys nature, meditation, martial arts, dancing, food, and new friends and adventures. He is creative, community-oriented, and extremely passionate about the work that he does at Solar One.
Gretchen Bradley, Community Solar Program Manager
Gretchen joined Solar One in 2019 to assist with the Community Solar Program, and help develop it’s initiatives to make solar available for low to moderate income communities and renters. Prior to joining Solar One, Gretchen worked as a residential solar project manager for 3 years. Her interest in solar and the environment comes from her educational background at Marist College where she studied Environmental Policy and had the opportunity to spend a semester abroad in Costa Rica to study the nation’s efforts to achieve carbon neutrality. In her free time, Gretchen enjoys hiking in the Hudson Valley, reading, and playing rugby.
Anapaula Abarca, Bilingual Community Solar Associate
Anapaula recently completed her undergraduate degree at Hunter College where she majored in Environmental Studies and minored in Africana/Puerto Rican Latino Studies. Her interest in environmental studies sparked when she took a trip to her hometown, Lima, Peru, and witnessed the health and environmental impacts of the city’s poor air quality on society. Before joining Solar One, she worked at an elementary afterschool program as a STEM specialist. She likes to crochet and searches for new Funko Pops during her free time to complete her Marvel collection.
Bruno Estrada, Bilingual Solar Associate, Resilient SolarBruno is a Bilingual Solar Associate with the Resilient Solar Team of HCS leading the Barrio Solar Campaign and a Queens native with Latin roots. Bruno has extensive experience in case management as a Program Manager for the YMCA of Greater New York. In 2014 after two years with the YMCA he arrived in the Dominican Republic to be sworn in as a Healthy Communities (HC) Extensionist Peace Corps Volunteer. As a Peace Corps Volunteer Brunco served along the Dominican-Haitian border where he found his passion for responsible sustainability. After twenty- nine months of service in Peace Corps, Bruno worked with a small NGO based out of Atlanta, Georgia called World Water Relief. He holds a B.A. in Economics from SUNY Purchase College.
Lawrence Haseley, Program Manager, Affordable Solar Program
Lawrence joined Solar One’s Here Comes Solar Program to provide solar consultation and procurement assistance to affordable housing providers in and around New York City. Lawrence is a lifelong New Yorker originally from Jamaica, Queens, and currently lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Prior to Solar One, Lawrence worked at the Community Innovators Lab at MIT where he focused on advancing community economic development initiatives and participatory planning processes in the neighborhoods of Central and East Brooklyn. Lawrence developed his interest of solar and renewable energy adoption in NYC while working at the Natural Resources Defense Council on federal and regional clean energy policies and taking on membership leadership positions at We Act for Environmental Justice, where he worked to advance the Northern Manhattan Climate Action Plan. He completed his BA in International Studies from the City College of New York and his MS in City and Regional Planning from Pratt Institute. Outside of Solar One, you can find Lawrence biking around Brooklyn and exploring new places, watching the English Premier League matches and NBA games, or exploring alternative and indigenous ways of building sustainable structures.
Kate Selden, Program Manager, Affordable Solar Program
Kate Selden is a Program Manager in Solar One’s Affordable Solar Program where she helps affordable housing providers bring clean, affordable energy to their tenants, buildings and communities. Prior to working at Solar One, Kate worked in affordable housing development at Los Sures, a community-based organization in North Brooklyn where she was responsible for rehabilitation and new construction projects. She has also worked as an environmental educator, at a design/build garden company, and as an urban planning consultant for a variety of research and community engagement projects around New York City. Kate completed her MS in City and Regional Planning at Pratt Institute where she focused on sustainable and equitable environmental systems and integrating placed-based urban planning curriculum into public schools. She is passionate about popular education, advancing a just transition, and transforming the urban ecosystem to be more inclusive, equitable and democratic. When not working, Kate tends to be outside as much as possible, running, hiking, gardening, learning about her community and celebrating the changing seasons.
Daisy Rivera Dominguez, Affordable Solar Program Associate
Daisy joined Solar One’s Here Comes Solar Program to help bring affordable renewable energy to low-income communities. Prior to Solar One, Daisy worked as a Data Analyst, Sustainability Graduate Student Assistant, Environmental Educator and Wetland Team Researcher at NYSDEC on a pioneering study of a recently identified Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog. Daisy was born and raised in Queens, but currently resides in New Jersey. She holds a B.S in Biology from Ramapo College of New Jersey and her M.A. in Environmental Policy from Pace University with a focus on renewable energy, accidental wetlands conservation and sustainable management practices. She is passionate about climate resilience, wetlands, the environment and living more sustainability. In her free time, you can find Daisy reading, traveling, hiking and spending quality time with her teacup yorkie, Ollie.
Patrick Owusu joined Solar One’s Here Comes Solar program in 2019 to ensure low income housing residents know that green energy alternatives are not only available, but affordable and accessible. Patrick is a born and raised New Yorker from Washington Heights and a graduate from Brooklyn College, obtaining a B.S. in Earth and Environmental Sciences. While in school, he found a passion for fighting to improve New York City’s environment in ways great and small. Whether it was a campaign calling to keep NY fracking free (2014), organizing waterside cleanups, or helping New Yorkers understand how to dispose of household waste with DSNY through City Service Corps (2017-2018), his track record shows a mind geared towards a sustainable future. For the times that Patrick isn’t deftly working to further his career, you can find him at the gym, at a downtown bar, hosting a home-brewed D&D session, or relaxing in a park; contemplating the world with a smile.
Michelle (she/her) joined Solar One in 2021 to support project development of some of New York City’s first solar + storage projects. She is a Brooklyn native and brings experience in community development, stakeholder engagement, and urban policy. Prior to joining Solar One, she was a Fulbright Scholar to Brazil and worked on mass timber market development at the U.S. Forest Service. She has also worked on several urban sustainability initiatives at NYC Parks and DSNY. She holds a BS in Sustainable Community Development from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Alex joined Solar One in 2022 as the Operations Analyst for Here Comes Solar. She streamlines processes and tools to help Here Comes Solar increase its impact. Alex has a BFA from RIT, an MS from the University of Rochester, and spent the last ten years working with student organization operations in higher education. When not in the office, Alex enjoys weightlifting, traveling, spending time with her family, and finding new ways to make her own home more sustainable.
Michael Weiss, Solar Site Assessor
Mike joined Solar One in 2015. His background in carpentry, restoration, electrical systems, materials and environmental sustainability led him to his passion for solar energy. He was introduced to NYC Solar through the installation of a solar system at his own self-managed co-op where he took an active role in the PV interconnection and metering arrangement of the building’s electricity. Mike continued to explore the world of solar technology and policy and loves his role advancing New Yorkers’ abilities to generate clean energy and contribute to New York City’s electrical generation and distribution system. At Solar one, Mike traverses the City to analyze buildings for solar feasibility and consults on a variety of projects, providing technical expertise on topics ranging from solar energy system design to creative metering and distribution of solar energy credits in order to maximize savings for Here Comes Solar program participants. Mike lives in Sunset Park, Brooklyn with his family.
Richard Bundy, Technical Design Consultant
Richard served five years as an Aviation Electrician in the US Navy before earning a BS in Geographic Information Science from the University of Wisconsin. He joined the solar power industry in 2008, working on approximately 140 commercial, industrial and residential PV projects in roles ranging from installer to construction manager. In 2013, he moved to New York City to study for a MS in Construction Management at NYU. While studying, he led the design and construction of four PV systems in Brooklyn and Queens for a local developer. Richard joined the Solar One team early in 2016 and has been working primarily on the New York Rising Community Reconstruction Solar & Battery Backup project as a technical advisor and system designer.
NEW YORK CITY RETROFIT ACCELERATOR
Currently managed by Here Comes Solar staff.
NYSERDA CLEAN ENERGY COMMUNITIES PROGRAM
Kathryn Charpin, Emissions Reduction Analyst
Kathryn joined Solar One in 2021 as an Emissions Reduction Analyst where she works in the Division of Energy Management at the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) to implement the City’s Local Law 97 emissions reduction strategy at the municipal level. Prior to Solar One, she was an environmental regulatory consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton. Kathryn has an MA in Environmental Resource Policy from George Washington University and BS in Earth Science and Policy from the Pennsylvania State University.
Isabela Brown, Community Emissions Specialist
Isabela is Solar One’s Community Emissions Specialist embedded at the Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice. She loves using data to make climate action accessible to the public and comes to the role with a background in math and environmental modeling. Isabela previously worked on modeling transportation emissions at the EPA Office of Transportation and Air Quality and setting climate targets as a Climate Corps Fellow at Washington D.C. Transit Authority. She loves bike packing, gardening, and composting.
Jeanette Castillo, Community Campaigns Coordinator
Jeanette is Solar One’s Community Campaigns Coordinator under the Clean Energy Communities Program. Prior to Solar One, she was the Program Assistant at Empire Clean Cities focusing on clean and sustainable transportation. Jeanette has a B.A. in International Studies with a concentration in International Environmental Problems. She is a Bronx Native and enjoys spending her time going on bike rides through Randall’s Park, Fort Washington Park, or Highbridge Park during the Springtime.
Sara Radelet, Development Director
Sara Radelet is Development Director for Solar One as of February 2021, leading on fundraising and partnership development in support of the organization’s operations and programs. Sara has over 25 years experience in fundraising and organizational management, with prior work in sectors of climate change and environment, higher education, and the arts. Prior to joining Solar One, Sara served as Head of Fundraising for C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (in London and New York), and was previously Advancement Coordinator at the American University of Paris. Prior posts include serving as the founding Executive Director of the New Hazlett Center for the Performing Arts in Pittsburgh; and serving as Assistant Director of the Mattress Factory, a cutting-edge artist residency space and arts museum. Sara serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Artists Image Resource printmaking studio. Sara holds a BA in the Liberal Arts from The George Washington University and has an extensive history as bass player in unknown bands with enthusiastic, yet small fan-bases.
Deana Hare, Philanthropy Specialist
Deana Hare joined Solar One in 2013 as a grantwriter, and since then has been involved in almost every aspect of development and fundraising work within the organization. Deana has 24 years of development experience, helping organizations bring in a range of revenue streams, all the way from direct mail to government contracts. She has a special expertise in cultivating funding from corporate, government, and foundation sources. She has raised funds and initiated projects for NYC social justice and environmental organizations such as the Center for Reproductive Rights, the New York Women’s Foundation, Grand Street Settlement, Friends of the High Line, and City Parks Foundation. Deana has a passion for the urban environment, community-led solutions to social and environmental issues, climate justice, and semi-obscure bands from the 90s. She holds a Masters in Urban Planning, with a focus on Transportation and the Environment, from NYU’s Wagner School as well as a BA in French from Vassar College.
Barbara Lerman-Golomb, Philanthropy Specialist
Barbara Lerman-Golomb is an author, experiential and environmental educator, and philanthropy specialist. Prior to joining Solar One, Barbara was the Director of Institutional Giving and the Social Responsibility Consultant for JCC Association of North America where she oversaw JCC Grows, a sustainable food program in partnership with the White House and First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move effort to end childhood obesity, and the USDA’s People’s Garden initiative. After receiving a Nathan Cummings Teva Fellowship, Barbara was selected to participate in a sea kayaking expedition in Alaska’s Tongass, home to the largest temperate rain forest on earth to advocate against logging of the old growth forest. As the former executive director of COEJL, she originated a nationwide climate change and energy conservation campaign and was featured in Lilith magazine as an “Eco- Revolutionary.” Barbara has been active in a range of local and national legislative and social justice actions and was a delegate to the UN Climate Change Conference in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, COP11, the first Meeting of the Parties (MOP1) to the Kyoto Protocol. Barbara has also been an edutainment materials designer, program analyst, and scriptwriter for major media and publishing companies such as Scholastic and Nickelodeon and has published widely.
FINANCE AND OPERATIONS
Nancy Weber, Chief Operating Officer
Nancy joined Solar One in 2016 where she currently leads the Finance and Operations department. She has over five years experience in non-profit finance and administration. Prior to working at Solar One, Nancy was the Co-Founder and Director of Finance and Operations for a Brooklyn based performance space. Before changing careers, she spent more than 15 years working in software development at various financial technology firms where she was responsible for all facets of software implementation and project management. Nancy has a B.S. in Computer & Management Studies from the University of Maryland.
Raimonda Baneleviciute, Grant Administrator
Raimonda Baneleviciute joined Solar One team in the summer of 2020 as a grant administrator. Prior to Solar One she has worked for education based non profits like YWCA OF NYC and AFS-USA as a staff accountant mainly focusing on financials tasks and daily volunteer support. Raimonda has a degree in Civil Enginnering and Accounting.
Shinn Yang, Finance Director
Shinn Yang has over 25 years of financial and accounting experience within the not-for-profit and for-profit sectors. Throughout his career, he has worked for mission-driven organizations such YWCA and Mental Health Service Corps (MHSC/ThriveNYC), computer consulting firm Cognet Corp., and more serving in multiple positions such as Bookkeeper, Accountant, Accounting Manager and now, Finance Director at Solar One. Shinn has a B.A. in Mathematics and Economics from New York University and a B.A. in Accounting from Monroe College. A lifelong New Yorker, Shinn aims to reduce his carbon footprint and become more environmentally and socially responsible.
Lena Zeng, Fiscal Assistant/Bookkeeper
Lena is and experienced accounting professional with a broad range of experience in accounting and financial management. She has solid planning and organizational skill in all aspects of Accounts Payable and Accounts receivable from inception to completion. She is self motivated and disciplined with demonstrated ability to manage assignments efficiently and meet tight deadlines and schedules.
Bertrand Sheppard, Office Manager
Bertrand joined Solar One in 2022 as the office manager and administrative assistant. He previously worked in operations management and human resources for a cloth diaper company with the mission to reduce paper waste and encourage eco-friendly methods of cleaning laundry. When not in the office he enjoys cooking and looking for restaurants to inspire his own culinary skills.
Alonza Robertson, Communications Manager
Alonza Robertson is Solar 1’s Communications Manager who brings expertise in message and strategy development, social marketing and public relations while working with New York and national media, Solar staff and other supporters. For the past 20 years he has worked as a communications strategist focused on business and public affairs issues in corporate America, local-and-state governments, and nonprofit organizations primarily focusing on education, health, finance, technology, architecture and engineering. Most recently, his work has focused on media relations, public relations, community relations and marketing for the City University of New York, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation and the New York State Society of CPAs. He has also worked as a print journalist in Tampa, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and San Francisco. An alum of Howard University, Alonza lives in Rockland County and has one son, Alexandre.