Central Valley Staff

Executive Team

Karina Gonzalez, Co-Executive Director

Karina brings over 16 years of experience in community outreach, education, and training. Joining the team in 2011, she has driven the GRID mission forward serving homeowners, job trainees, and building partnerships. She thrives in challenging situations, always looking for ways to improve department outcomes and program offerings. She is passionate about serving and meeting individual needs. If not in her office, she can be found interacting with participants in the four training programs she helped to develop. Working alongside the Central Valley team, she envisions a new map for serving the needs of the CV region. Her roots run deep as she has lived in Fresno County for over 30 years. She currently resides in Fresno with her husband and four wonderful children. 

David Griffin, Co-Executive Director

David graduated from CSU, Fresno with a B.S. in Business Administration-Accountacy. His work history includes retail sales, construction, insurance, and teaching prior to joining GRID Alternatives in September, 2010. David began volunteering with GRID after looking for a career that was socially, environmentally, and personally satisfying. As David volunteered often, he learned more about GRID Alternatives, it's mission and goals, and decided to join the Central Valley Fresno team.


Kenneth Mull, Residential & Commercial Field Manager

Kenneth Mull is an energetic, hard-working Residential & Commercial Field Manager at the Central Valley office. He has a multitude of construction skills and experience in carpentry, cabinetry, roofing, and solar PV. As a community volunteer with GRID, he quickly became a Team Leader and developed a passion to learn and grow with the solar industry. He went on to work with JT Solar for a few months and then applied with GRID and has been here since March 27th, 2017.

Projects Team

Jackie Brown, Construction Project Manager

Jackie started working with GRID as a Solar Installation Intern but now has been promoted to Construction Project Manager. She gained her knowledge of solar through the AERO Academy at Porterville High School where she also learned other forms of alternative and renewable energy such as wind power, biofuels, and more. She started volunteering with GRID her senior year of high school and has decided to make a career in the field of alternative and renewable energy. Her favorite part about the job is being able to wear her pink hardhat because she is a strong supporter of women in trades and loves seeing another female getting her hands dirty out on the job site.


Tom Esqueda, Outreach Manager

Tom has over 20 years of experience in affordable housing programs and has worked for local government agencies and non-profit organizations. Tom has lived in Fresno all but 38 months of his life and graduated from Fresno State University with a Business Marketing degree. Tom is proud to be a platelet donor of over 23 years, and averages 20 donations per year.

Workforce & Development

Eric Cortes, Workforce Development Director

Eric was born in San Jose, California, but was raised in Madera. He moved to Fresno about seven years ago. He just returned to college after 9 years and is working on a degree in Business. Before coming to GRID Eric worked in the finance field for 4 years as a personal loan executive for Citi. Eric enjoys watching football on Sundays. He also likes to take his family to visit different amusement parks around California. He loves helping the community as much as he can and is really excited to be at GRID.

Workforce Administration

Casildo Aguilar Varbarin, Workforce Administrative Manager

Casildo was born in the Central Valley. His journey with GRID Alternatives started in May 2021 as an IBT 200 Trainee. After graduating from the program, he started working as a residential/commercial solar installer in the solar industry. An opportunity to be part of the GRID Alternatives SolarCorps Fellowship Program arose, which led him to discover and develop new skills. After his fellowship term, Casildo was hired on as a Workforce Training Programs Coordinator. This allowed him to connect with the community even further, through active community engagement and working alongside with other partner organizations. As a result of his venture with GRID Alternatives, he now takes on the role of Workforce Administrative Manager at the very Training Center, where it all started for him. Casildo believes in the value of an opportunity and the potential within each individual to create their futures. He says, "At one point, someone believed in me and provided me with the space and resources to grow. It is a privilege to pay it forward and an honor to work alongside people who are invested in the life changing work that takes place at the Central Valley Training Center."

Workforce & Training

Oscar Mendez, Workforce and Training Manager

Oscar found GRID Alternatives while attending a Proteus Photovoltaic training course. He enjoyed the excitement of installing with GRID and began volunteering on a regular basis. After completing GRID’s Team Leader syllabus, he participated in the 2013 Central Valley Solarthon. Having worked previously with A.P. Alternatives and Solar City, Oscar joined our Central Valley team in the fall of 2013 as a Solar Warehouse Assistant. Currently, Oscar serves GRID as a Workforce and Training Manager. We’re grateful for his hard work and dedication to our GRID family.
Solar Trainer & Installation Supervisor