George Ashton, co-founder of Sol Systems, has been a critical contributor to the vision and strategic development of Sol Systems. He has focused specifically on developing the SREC Services and Project Finance businesses. Prior to Sol Systems, Mr. Ashton worked in the capital markets for more than 10 years. At Fannie Mae, he managed more than $20 billion in asset purchases and cultivated and developed business relationships with some of largest banks and investment firms in the country. George is also the Board Chair of the Maryland Center Energy Center. Mr. Ashton has an MBA from the University of Maryland and a dual BS from the College of William and Mary.
Board of Directors
George Ashton, Board President
Joel Cohn, CPA, Board Treasurer
Joel Cohn is a partner in the Transaction Consulting Group of CohnReznick. Since 1995 he has provided tax structuring advice and technical financial modeling services to sponsors of various tax credit projects including, among others, renewable energy projects. His broad experience in raising tax equity brings to bear solutions where business goals and tax rules would appear to conflict. The key is having an understanding of the goals of the various stakeholders, and the alternative ways those goals can be achieved. His advice has included maximization of credits through re-categorization of costs, contract restructuring and tax planning, all while working within the framework of tax law; creation of transaction structures designed to satisfy the key agendas of various stakeholders; exit strategy development for investors/ developers - including the creation of various option strategies; development of strategies which maximize sponsor return on investment; and creation of transaction structures that permit economic participation by nonprofits.
Jonathan Powers, Board Secretary
Jon leads corporate strategy and development, investor relations, and marketing for CleanCapital. Jon's passion for clean energy derives from his time served with the US Army in Iraq and the realization that a clean energy economy is vital to protect America's national security interests. After helping revolutionize the US Army's energy program as the first Special Advisor on Energy, Jon was appointed by President Obama to serve as the Federal Chief Sustainability Officer. While in this role, Jon recognized the need to address the inefficiencies in clean energy finance. Jon was recently named as Washington DC’s Tech 25 - top leaders in the technology space.
Katherine Hamilton is a principal at 38 North Solutions, a public policy firm focused on clean energy and innovation. She served as President of the GridWise Alliance, advocating for nearly $5 billion in funding for smart grid projects in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Prior to that role, Hamilton was a policy advisor for Good Energies, Inc., a private investment company with a portfolio in clean energy technologies of nearly $6 billion. She co-directed the American Bioenergy Association, working with the states of Maryland and New Jersey to develop renewable portfolio standards. Katherine was named an Ambassador to the Secretary of Energy’s Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C3E) under the Clean Energy Ministerial and is assigned to a two year term at the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Electricity.
Oscar Ramirez is a seasoned Democratic strategist with over a decade of political and policy experience in senior roles on national political campaigns, on Capitol Hill and in the Obama administration. At the Podesta Group, Oscar advises clients ranging from Fortune 100 companies to not-for-profit organizations. He previously served as Special Assistant to Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, where he directed engagement with state and local elected officials, the business community and other stakeholder groups. A veteran of Capitol Hill, Oscar served as Chief of Staff to Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA), Deputy Chief of Staff to Rep. Al Green (D-TX) and Legislative Director to Rep. Joe Baca (D-CA). While on the Hill, he served two terms as president of the Congressional Hispanic Staff Association. Oscar has been named by Washington Life Magazine as one of "Washington DC's most influential movers and shakers under 40," and was listed by The Huffington Post as one of the top “40 Under 40 Latinos in American Politics.” Oscar, who has also been recognized as one of the Democratic Party’s top Latino political operatives and donors by various publications including National Journal and Fox News Latino, is a prominent player in national Democratic politics. He was 1st Vice Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party under Governor Martin O’Malley (D-MD) and was a member of the Democratic National Committee. He also held leadership positions in the 2004 John Kerry presidential campaign in battleground Ohio and in 2008 as Barack Obama's Virginia policy director. As an alum of the 2008 Obama campaign and the Obama Administration, Oscar is one of the go-to strategists in Washington, DC on how to engage the Administration. In Congress, Oscar works closely with Democratic leadership as well as with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC). He has extensive experience building strategic coalitions with national minority advocacy organizations and other progressive stakeholder groups. On issues that have a local impact, Oscar taps into his national network to engage with Democratic governors, mayors and other local elected officials. Oscar sits on the Board of Directors of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters, the Board of Advisors of Voces Verdes, a national coalition of Latino environmental leaders, and the national political advisory committee of the Humane Society of the United States.
Herbert F. Stevens
Herb Stevens is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on financing community-based projects by leveraging public programs, including tax credits, with private capital development. His clients include the largest capital markets investors, local governments and for-profit and nonprofit developers of important projects. As Chief Innovation Officer, he has also helped attorneys at Nixon Peabody develop new, more responsive legal services.
Mr. Stevens has worked on a wide variety of solar energy projects, from utility-scale, ground-mounted plants for the military, to state-sponsored funds that result in solar panels on residences from Connecticut to California. Most recently, Herb helped in the financing of a 75-megawatt biofuel plant that has converted a 19th century wood-based local economy to a 21st century center creating both jobs and renewable energy.
Trisha Miller, Director of Sustainability of Wishrock Housing Partners and Investment Group, has over a decade of experience working on green affordable housing and clean energy in low-income communities. Trisha also currently serves as an adjunct professor of Urban and Regional Planning at Georgetown University. Previously, Trisha served as a Presidential Appointee for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development where she managed the implementation of the President’s Climate Plan goals to cut energy waste, promote climate resilience, and accelerate clean energy deployment. She also served as the Board President of The Healthy Building Network, and she has represented multiple non-profit organization as a community development lawyer.
Lidija Sekaric is the director of strategy and marketing at Siemens and previously served as the director of the DOE's Solar Energy Technologies Office within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), where she helped manage and balance the portfolio of research, development, demonstration, and deployment programs in achieving DOE SunShot goals. Before that, she served as a senior advisor in the Office of the Under Secretary of Energy and as a technical and market advisor on the world's largest distributed solar generation projects. Her extensive experience in this industry also includes research in nanoscale science and engineering. Her specific accomplishments in this area include developing record-setting devices in nano-photonics, electronics, nanomechanics, and sensors. She has more than 40 scientific publications and holds 30 U.S. patents. Lidija received her Ph.D. and Master of Science degree in Applied Physics from Cornell University, and her Bachelor of Arts degree from Bryn Mawr College.