Staff

Nicole Steele

Nicole Steele, Executive Director

Nicole Steele is the Executive Director of GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic. She has 10+ years of experience in the environmental and energy fields (urban planning, grassroots advocacy, policy development, and program design and implementation). Prior to joining GRID Alternatives, she was the Alliance to Save Energy’s Director of Policy and State Relations. She managed the organization’s major blue ribbon initiative on energy productivity, the Alliance Commission on National Energy Efficiency Policy, which outlined the Obama Administration’s goal of doubling U.S. energy productivity by 2030. Nicole also managed the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG / Recovery Act) Program for Loudoun County, Virginia. 

 

 

Henry Neoman, Project Development Manager

Henry is a seasoned energy executive with 20 years of experience in renewable energy, economic development, and technology. He developed and managed projects and operations in the USA, Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean. With a Bachelor’s in engineering from Polytechnic University of Turin in Italy, and an MBA in finance from Strathclyde University in the UK, Henry is pursuing a PhD in economic development.  Henry managed a number of solar projects in the residential, commercial and utilities sectors ranging from 3 KW to 3 MW. In addition, Henry is a Certified PMP Project and Program manager with over 10 years of experience in Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC).

Serena Bruce, Project Manager

Serena was born in Santa Rosa, CA. After graduating from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo with a B.A. in Social Sciences with a minor in Women’s Studies she moved to Seattle. While there she spent three years working at a “green” hardware store, where it encouraged her further exploration toward her already existing passion for sustainability. After living in Seattle’s cool and rainy climate she joined GRID Alternatives in the Central Coast of California before becoming GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic's first Solar Installation Supervisor. When she is not working she enjoys taking her dog, Pogo, to the beach, hiking, scuba diving and any other activity that is outdoors.

Salvador Torres, Construction Manager

Sal was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. He first joined GRID as a volunteer for the GLA office in the summer of 2012, where he contributed over 700 volunteer hours as a Team Leader. Sal learned about GRID while pursuing his Associate's degree in Renewable Energy at Los Angeles Trade Technical College. A combination of knowledge and the hands on experience he acquired while volunteering at GRID, landed him a job as a Solar PV installer for American Solar Direct, where he worked for about one year. After a successful term working at a large for-profit solar company, he was hired by the GLA office as a Solar Installation Supervisor. He transferred over to the Mid-Atlantic office in January of 2015, where he leads crews of volunteers on solar PV installs.

He loves playing and watching Soccer, his favorite club is Arsenal FC. He also loves cats, especially his wonderful pet "Ramsey" whom he rescued from a high kill shelter shortly after arriving in DC.

Marc Spohn, Solar Installation Supervisor

Marc came to the DC office after graduating East LA Skills Center's PV technology course. They were urged to get into the field and complete a few installs with GRID for hands-on experience. Marc began volunteering in 2014 and fell more in love with GRID with every job. He completed hundreds of hours of volunteer work, and was ultimately offered the opportunity to come on board with the Mid-Atlantic office as a SolarCorps Fellow. After finishing training at East LA, Marc took the NABCEP Entry level exam and transplanted to the east coast where he began his year internship in June of 2015. Just recently, Marc was promoted to Solar Installation Supervisor! Not a day goes by where Marc doesn’t feel like the luckiest guy in the world to be working with this organization.

Michael Brown, Production Manager

Michael was born and raised in Baton Rouge, LA. He began his solar career in 2008 through friend and Louisiana solar activist, Jeff Shaw, who also began Louisiana’s first solar design and installation company, Gulf South Solar. Michael quickly fell in love with his new profession and in 2011 became a NABCEP Certified Solar PV Installation Professional. Michael moved to Annapolis, MD in late 2015 with his wife following a 3-year stint in London, UK and joined Grid Alternatives Mid-Atlantic in June 2016. Being a Baton Rouge native, he is a passionate LSU and New Orleans Saints fan. In an effort to integrate with his new neighbors in Central Maryland, Michael is excited about his recent decision to become a DC United supporter. In his spare time, he enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee, golf, and tennis as well as backpacking and camping when he has the chance. Although, in the spirit of full disclosure, Michael admits that he is not particular good at any of those activities.

Rozina Kanchwala, Outreach Manager

Rozina received a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies and Economics from the University of Illinois. She spent many years overseas, including a study abroad to Senegal, a research trip to India as a Fulbright Scholar, and many years in the UK. She received her Master of Science degree in Environment and Sustainable Development from University College London. She learned that socio-economic development must occur at the intersection of environmental protection. Prior to joining GRID Alternatives, Rozina worked as a policy analyst for Solar San Antonio, a non-profit organization committed to the widest deployment of clean energy in San Antonio. Rozina volunteers with the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, a group focused on promoting a revenue-neutral carbon fee as a way to address climate change. In her free time, Rozina enjoys reading, writing, hiking, doing yoga, and being artsy.

Samantha Tranfa, Executive Assistant and Office Manager

For Samantha, growing up amongst Florida’s natural wildlife ingrained an appreciation for nature that set the course for a future in environmental activism. After graduating from the University of Central Florida, with a Bachelor’s Degree in marketing and a minor in studio art, Sam joined the team at Greensleeves LLC, a geothermal technology start-up. Shortly after relocating to Washington, she worked as the Auction Coordinator for Washington Project for the Arts, a non-profit organization that serves as a catalyst for contemporary art. Sam is committed to working towards a sustainable future and is actively involved with IDEAS, a nonprofit organization advancing sustainability and environmental awareness through campus and community action. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, exploring the city and painting.

Sienia Arku, Workforce Coordinator

Sienia is a new addition to the GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic team and to the solar energy sector.  She is excited to continue working with underserved communities.  She is passionate about helping people and enjoys networking and recruitment.  She has a background in youth and workforce development.  Sienia has experience facilitating and developing engaging programs.  She enjoys attending live music performances and traveling.  At GRID, she supports volunteers, interns and job trainees as they transition from learning solar installation to searching for employment in the solar industry.  She is originally from Hyattsville, MD and studied psychology at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Sarah Loudon, Project Coordinator

Born in rural PA and raised in upstate NY, Sarah has always had an appreciation of fresh air and a desire to help preserve it. She studied International Business at Dickinson College and received a degree in Economics from the University at Albany. Northeastern University then lured her to Boston with its new Energy Systems graduate program and cemented her interest in joining the green energy movement.  From there, she gained experience in the field by helping catalyze the growth of a new solar installer that was "building the car while driving it." Opportunities to work in the non-profit sector brought her south of the Mason-Dixon Line to the District, where she was thrilled to meet and join forces with the GRID team. Sarah loves international travel, outdoor adventuring, experimental cooking & eating, and describing herself in the third person.

Reyna Askew, Corporate & Individual Giving Coordinator

Reyna is from the Cleveland area, where her love for the environment first emerged. Reyna is passionate about increasing clean energy access in underserved communities, which led her to begin volunteering with GRID in early 2015. She became even more committed to GRID's mission with each install and is now working on Corporate and Individual Giving programs at GRID Mid-Atlantic. Before working at GRID, Reyna taught environmental classes and lead seasonal hikes as a Summer Camp Naturalist at the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes in Shaker Heights, Ohio. She holds a BA degree in International Relations from the Ohio State University and an MA in International Relations and International Economics from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Reyna also completed internships with the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Energy. Most recently, at the U.S. Department of Energy, in the Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis, Reyna supported DOE partner utilities in developing their climate resilience and adaptation plans. A true lover of animals and nature, Reyna can be seen in her free time, hanging out on roof decks or hiking with her dog, September, in Rock Creek Park.

James Brown, Junior Solar Installation Supervisor

James Brown is a Washington DC native. He joined the GRID Alternatives team after working in the roofing industry for twelve years. James attended the University of District of Columbia for Construction Core as well as HVAC. James attended the United Planning Organization and became experienced in plumbing. James came to GRID Alternatives as an intern through an organization called DCSEU DC Sustainable Energy (DCSEU). In his spare time, James likes to spend time with his family, and play Call of Duty and Fan Duel. 

Antwain Nelson, Construction Assistant

Born and raised in Washington DC, Antwain joined the GRID Alternatives team as a SolarCorps Construction Fellow after attending a job training program called Sasha Bruce Youth Build. He previously worked at the second largest housing authority, DC Housing Authority as an electrician. In his free time, Antwain likes to bowl, take apart and fix electronics, and hang out with his children.

Andrew Gonzalez, Junior Solar Installation Supervisor

Andy was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. He first joined GRID as a volunteer for the Los Angeles office in the summer of 2014, where he contributed over 700 volunteer hours as a Team Leader. Andy learned about GRID while pursuing his Associate's degree in Renewable Energy at Los Angeles Trade Technical College. A combination of knowledge and the hands on experience he acquired while volunteering at GRID landed him a job as a Solar PV installer for Brite Energy, where he worked for about one year. After a successful term working at a large for-profit solar company, he was hired by the GRID Mid-Atlantic Office.

David Johnson, SolarCorps Construction Fellow

Dave is an engineer and problem solver by training, an educator and facilitator by experience, and a humanitarian and environmentalist at heart. Hailing from Western Pennsylvania, he went on to earn degrees in mechanical engineering from Penn State University and University of Michigan. Dave first came to DC to serve on a volunteer program where he designed and facilitated learning experiences based around justice issues such as the environment, poverty, and human trafficking. Following this, he worked in sales for a residential solar developer in Maryland. This introduction to the solar industry led him to explore opportunities at GRID Alternatives, and he is excited to continue learning and making the world a better place through the power of the sun. Dave also loves cycling, ultimate frisbee, cooking, and eating.

Nadine Pirker, SolarCorps Construction Fellow

Nadine joined the Construction Department at the Mid-Atlantic office in late August 2016. Originally from Austria, she earned her master’s degree in engineering from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna. She is passionate about promoting renewable energy, energy efficiency as well as equality. She loves working hands-on and spent half a year in Guatemala working for a renewable energy NGO while living in an off-grid tree house. She speaks English, Spanish and German fluently. Having worked as a bicycle messenger for 6 years she still loves cycling and likes to spend as much time outdoors as possible.

Keon Coulter, SolarCorps Construction Fellow

Keon Coulter is a Construction Fellow in the Mid-Atlantic office (DC). Keon first heard about Grid through the GZEP program where he had the opportunity to install solar for six weeks. He is excited to work for GRID because he get the chance to make a difference in someone life. In his spare time he like to watch all the sport channels, play basketball and video games. An interesting fact about Keon is that he loves to cook.

Dominic Paul-Baha, SolarCorps Construction Fellow

Dominic Paul-Baha works as a Construction Fellow for the Mid-Atlantic (DC) GRID Alternatives office. Dominic is a Washington DC native. He first join GRID as an intern through the 2016 Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program where he received six weeks of training and completed eight solar installs within that time. Dominic also loves to serve underserved communities and is SUPER excited to work for GRID. In his spare time Dominic likes to watch racing, football, and scary movies while eating donuts. Dominic also loves memes.

Alexis Harvey, SolarCorps Volunteer Fellow

Alexis Harvey is a Volunteer Fellow for the Mid-Atlantic office for Grid Alternatives in Washington DC. She is a native of the Washington DC Metropolitan area, and she is a former “team leader” for the Green Zone Environmental Program for the District Department of Energy and Environment. Alexis graduated from Bowie High School in 2012 in Bowie Maryland. Soon after she completed her undergraduate’s degree in Communication Studies from Frostburg State University, in Frostburg Maryland. Ms. Harvey’s goals as a Volunteer Fellow are to effectively educate, encourage, and enlighten volunteers on the importance of renewable energy, while also providing them with a new opportunity to give back to their community.

Kirsten Rumsey, SolarCorps Development and Communications Fellow

Kirsten is a new to the GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic team and new to the Washington D.C. area. She has been a Virginia native her whole life. Kirsten attended the University of Virginia and majored in Environmental Thought and Practice and minored in Mathematics, including completing a study abroad semester at the University of Queensland in Australia. Post-college, she has worked multiple jobs, including a Fellowship with Clean Air-Cool Planet, creating an Environmental Justice learning experience for the United Methodist Women, and working as a Museum Educator at the Virginia Air and Space Museum in Hampton. Kirsten is grateful to be working about GRID because it provides underprivileged families and people with financial support while promoting renewable energy. Kirsten loves traveling, quaint coffee shops, acting in community theater, and catching up with old friends. 

Roger LeBlanc, Outreach Fellow

Roger is a George Mason University alum with a degree in Environmental Sustainability Studies with a policy focus. Prior to his fellowship with Grid Alternatives, Roger worked for George Mason University's Office of Sustainability coordinating energy efficiency outreach projects, and then served on the marketing team for Aquicore, a energy management software company. Roger is driven by a passion for climate change mitigation, and inspired by the connection between environmental solutions and social justice. He is excited to become more connected to the DC community and the solar movement through the Solarcorp Fellowship. While not at Grid, Roger enjoys seeing family, listening to pop music, playing tennis, and hiking. 

Raymond Stanton, Outreach Fellow

Raymond Stanton is a Solar Outreach Fellow, hailing from Charlotte, North Carolina. A recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, nascent environmental solutions and issues are fresh in his mind.  In the spring of 2016, Raymond led a group of UNC students on GRID Alternatives' Solar Spring Break program at the Greater Los Angeles office; it was here that the honesty in Grid's mission inspired and motivated Ray to dive into solar energy with the budding Mid-Atlantic office.  Previously, Raymond served as a Phillips Ambassador to King Mongkut's University of Technology in Bangkok, Thailand.  Raymond actively volunteers design and consultation to the Environmental Law Institute's BRIGHT program.  With a rival passion for sustainable food systems, Raymond dreams of expanding DC's multi-family and community solar portfolio by partnering with urban gardens and community greenhouses.  Better energy, cleaner water, healthier food, and a better living, is how his free-time, idle-mind wanders.