Staff

Justin Hitchcock, Regional Director

Justin Hitchcock has been with GRID for 4 years. Before becoming Regional Director, he worked both as an Outreach Coordinator and Project Manager. He gained extensive experience working for the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic, where he worked on several community projects that focused on environmental initiatives and youth development. Justin studied Civil Engineering at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where he now lectures on solar engineering. He has traveled and volunteered throughout Central and South America. He is passionate about pushing the transition to create a sustainable society. In his spare time, Justin enjoys surfing, rock climbing, live music, and traveling.

Donovan Anderson, Solar Installation Supervisor

Donovan was born in Glendale California. He grew up along the coast from L.A. to San Fran before moving from Oakland to Las Vegas. He worked for Pepsi Cola for 14 years in the service department repairing and installing equipment in the casinos. He also spent some time doing installations and repairs for Ecolab. Then the economy took a fall. While visiting the Central Coast he ran into a friend who told him about a Green tech program at Cuesta Collage. He enrolled in the class and then found employment with Grid Alternatives. Solar has been a passion of Donovan’s for a long time and he is so excited to have the opportunity to get into the solar field. Now he can help people and the environment at the same time. Donovan is also in a 4 wheel club helping to maintain the fire roads in the area. There is a lot of beautiful country out there; his club works hard to keep it that way.

Patrick Home, Construction Assistant

Patrick Home is originally from Murietta, California.  He recently earned a B.A. in Liberal Studies with a minor in Sustainability from California State University, Northridge.  As an undergraduate student, participated in a mock sustainability consultation project with CSUN to analyze the current use of printers, paper and ink and to identify potential solutions to improve energy efficiency and resource management.  He is currently enrolled in a Solar PV Associate On-Demand class and expects to complete this training in Summer 2014.  Patrick is volunteering with us to learn about how a non-profit solar company works and to continue to learn more about the solar industry as a whole by assisting with all aspects necessary to providing solar energy to qualifying low-income families. Patrick volunteered in our office in Summer 2014 as our Development and Business Development Intern before becoming one of our 12-month Construction Fellows in Fall 2014. He is currently completing his second term as a PG&E AmeriCorps Fellow working primarily in Project Management.

Kaly Moore, Solar Installation Supervisor

Kaly Cheyenne Moore joins us here in the Central Coast from Denver, CO by way of our North Valley, CA office, where last year he served as a SolarCorps Construction Fellow. Over the course of the last three years in Chico, he was selected from 13 high schools for a two week flight academy at the Chico Municipal airport, had his poetry both published and performed live, placed 2nd and 1st in the local art fair for his abstract and pencil portraits, played as Fly half for Chico's first high school women's Rugby team, was the Pleasant Valley High School's Viking mascot, performed his high school graduation speech, and established and became president for the GSA (gay straight alliance) at his high school. Kaly is the first of his family to graduate high school and to attend college. In 2013 he joined the California Conservation Corps, and shortly after he took on a summer internship as a peer counselor/mediator with Youth for Change working with at risk, residential and foster youth. In his spare time he is consistently looking for ways to improve himself mentally, physically and spiritually; believing that we are the beginning and the end, living by the words of Gandhi "We must be the change we wish to see in the world." He wishes to obtain multiple trades/skills and knowledge ranging from Permaculture to Quinton physics; anything and all that pertains to practices resulting in sustainability and consciousness.

Barby Wunsch, Development Officer

Barby grew up on a farm in the countryside of sunny Templeton, California. After graduating Templeton High School, she moved to Eugene, Oregon where she received her B.S. in Fine Arts – Fibers from University of Oregon – Go Ducks!!! She began working in education and obtained her M.A. Ed as she worked with students from Pre-K to 12th grade. This experience led Barby to employment with Hartnell College in Salinas where she utilized her extensive knowledge of education to coordinate grants, improve workforce development opportunities and served as a K-12 Liason for students throughout Monterey County. Barby has a passion for working with youth, helping underserved populations, and building relationships in an effort to connect families to assistive services. In her free time, she enjoys camping, weaving, reading, travelling, time with friends and family, exploring coastal communities, and sustainable farming.

Pedro Hernandez, Solar Installation Supervisor

Pedro comes to us from the Center for Employment Training (CET) Soledad, where he was a job training instructor for nine years and taught, among many students, Jeremiah Bennett, one of our AmeriCorps Members this year.  Pedro has been volunteering with our office for some time now and before coming on board had donated 349 hours to GRID!  He and the CET students helped our Central Coast team significantly last year when they volunteered and helped us with our 30 house solar project in Hollister.  

Clarita Cortez, Senior Outreach and Workforce Development Coordinator

Clarita Cortes is the Salinas Office Senior Outreach and Workforce Development Coordinator.  She was born in Oaxaca, Mexico.  At the age of 12, she migrated to the United States with her family in search for a better education.   She received her B.S. in Construction Management from CSU Fresno where she worked for 3 years at the University Outreach Services Department.  After graduating from CSU Fresno, she managed several commercial rental properties in Madera, California for couple years.  Later Clarita join the nonprofit area as an Outreach Coordinator for the UFW Foundation Fresno Office.  After two years contributing to UFW Foundation, she decided to relocate to Salinas, California where she lives with her husband Ricardo and her daughters Brisa and Xitlali, and her son Alex. Clarita is proud to be part of the Grid Alternatives family and being able to put in practice her knowledge and experience towards our organization’s success.

Itzel Coronel, Outreach Coordinator

Itzel is a Salinas native. She graduated from San Jose State University with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies, and a minor in Sustainable Water Resources. Before coming to GRID, Itzel worked in various professional environments such as Butte County Office of Education, and the County of Santa Clara, which have given her education outreach experience. She has a special passion for helping the public, clean air and clean water. Itzel enjoys hiking, eating delicious food and long road trips. I am thrilled and thankful for this opportunity to be part of the GRID family as an Outreach Coordinator.

Luis Gonzalez, Volunteer Coordinator

Born and raised in Puebla, México. Before joining the GRID Family I was working at the Literacy Program with the Salinas Public Library as a Literacy Clerk in the City of Salinas gaining extensive knowledge of the Salinas Valley Community. I studied Political Science at Universidad Autónoma de Puebla UAP, in Puebla, México, where I was able to develop a profound interest in the environment protection and sustainable community development field working in different projects focused to help the indigenous counties of my birth state. I moved to work in Mexico City with a private political consultant firm where I was able to learn about the importance that the government inside decision making process has on the public issues. After a brief period of time I made the transition to the Nonprofit sector by being hired as the volunteer coordinator in the Mexico City Based Nonprofit Risaterapia A.C. doing that job helped me realized that I made the right decision, helping connect worthy organizations with community volunteers it felt just right to me. In my spare time I enjoy discovering new places, watch and play sports (but mainly soccer games) love to watch movies, I have fun discovering new tech trends, outdoors activities and be around my family and friends.

Melissa Hanson, Outreach Coordinator

 I started with GRID in 2010 as a volunteer on installations in the Central Coast. At the time I was working as a farm manager, and looking to gain extra skills. I continued to work on farms until our family moved to Denver, CO in 2013. When I was ready to come back to work after having my son, I took a position as Outreach Coordinator at the GRID CO office. My desire for fish tacos fatefully led me back here to the Central Coast, where I continue to do Outreach. I am devoted to GRID's mission and values, and feel unbelievably lucky to be able to bring solar to the communities who need it the most. And eat as many fish tacos as I want.

Patrick Witterschein, SolarCorps Construction Fellow

Patrick Witterschein works as a SolarCorps Construction Fellow in the Salinas, CA office. He is from Fair Haven, NJ and graduated from the University of Delaware with a degree in Energy and Environmental Policy. In previous jobs, Patrick has taught kids how to sail, helped visitors in Yellowstone National Park and made gourmet grilled cheese, but he is excited to work with GRID Alternatives to help people learn more about solar energy.

Matt Aoun, SolarCorps Construction Fellow

Matthew Aoun is the SolarCorps Construction & Program Fellow at the Salinas office in Central Coast, CA. He was born and raised in Michigan and graduated from Michigan State University with an Applied Engineering Sciences degree in May of 2016. He is excited to work for an organization that truly cares about people and is working to reduce the human impact on the environment. Matt enjoys exploring the great outdoors and staying active with friendly pick-up games of just about any sport! He is excited to continue his growth as a professional in the renewable energy industry as he pursues NABCEP certifications during his already busy tenure with GRID Alternatives.

Stephen Dasaro, SolarCorps Construction Fellow

Stephen Dasaro works as a Solar Corps Construction Fellow at the Central Coast office with GRID Alternatives. Stephen is from the Inland Empire and was working in security and restaurant service to support himself before joining GRID Alternatives. Stephen is excited to work for GRID because of the unique opportunity to learn about sustainable energy while building a career and helping others. Stephen is a football fanatic and dreams of watching the Raiders win the Superbowl from his sustainable, off-grid home that he will one day build. Stephen studied business management and psychology at San Diego State University, and now intends to pursue education in agriculture, nutrition and electrical engineering in order to achieve his dream of building sustainable communities and helping others to live free.

Stuart McFarland, SolarCorps Program Fellow

Stuart is a Program Fellow at the Central Coast-North office located in Salinas, California. He has work experience in several different places, but always seems to find his way home to California. Stuart taught English as a Second Language (ESL) for 10 years in 4 different countries before joining GRID Alternatives. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Geography, a professional certificate for teaching ESL, and a professional certificate in nonprofit management. In his free time, he likes hiking in the mountains, attending sporting events, and volunteering. Stuart has worn the same brand of socks since the 6th grade, but is generally adaptable in many other ways. Stuart is ecstatic about the opportunity to empower underserved communities to contribute to the green energy movement!

Paul Johnson, Construction Manager

GRID Alternatives Central Coast welcomes Paul Johnson as our Construction Manager! Although Paul has spent several years in the construction industry, it was his time in the military, and his deployments, that reinforced the need to not only support our environment, but also our local economies, and National Security, by reducing our dependency on fossil fuels. Paul began his solar career with GRID Alternatives in San Diego where he began as a volunteer. From there, Paul spent time as a solar installer in Seattle before joining GRID Alternatives North Valley team in Sacramento where he worked as a Solar Installation Supervisor. Paul's tremendous leadership skills make him an excellent addition to our construction staff here on the Central Coast! Now that his 2 daughters are grown, and when he finds time to get out, Paul can be seen trail running, hiking, rappelling, or just taking in some time in a kayak.