Board of Directors

Brandie Williams, President

Brandie Williams has more than 25 years of success with high-profile technology companies from around the world. Currently she serves Johnson Controls Inc. as their West Region Director for Performance Infrastructure with a focus on Distributed Energy Systems and PV , enabling innovative and energy efficient infrastructure. She has a strong record of achievement using excellent relationship-building skills, cognitive needs analysis, creative problem solving, and successful account and people management. Previously, she served as an advocate for regulatory and regional utility power providers, with a focus on Federal and State policies.

Derrick Ross

Derrick Ross specializes in mechanical engineering, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) technologies. Currently employed as a Research & Development Engineer at UC Davis Western Cooling Efficiency Center, Derrick studies emerging HVAC technologies using a combination of equipment modeling, laboratory experiments, and field demonstrations with the hopes of ultimately reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Derrick states, ‘GRID Alternatives provides a comprehensive solution that will help push our planet towards a sustainable future, while at the same time giving back to local communities in the underserved portions that need it most. The support provided by the organization is enabling the participation of all people in the renewable energy revolution, regardless of socioeconomic status  In summary, GRID Alternatives’ mission is an effective approach to build a sustainable future while improving local communities, and I want to help facilitate that,’.

Jonathan Marz, Secretary

Jonathan Marz is a partner of Diepenbrock Elkin Gleason LLP, a Sacramento-based Law Firm with a statewide practice in Construction, Business, Real Estate and Environmental Law.  His own practice focuses on Construction and Business Litigation.  Jonathan received his J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law and his B.A. in Political Science and History from UC Davis.  When away from work, he enjoys cars, golfing and technology.  Jonathan's interest in GRID Alternatives arises from his shared interest in the company's three-part philanthropic goals: (1) helping low-income families attain economic security; (2) providing volunteer installers valuable hands-on experience; and (3) pursuing clean, renewable energy.

Kate Meis

Kate Meis has been a leader at the Local Government Commission for the last decade and has served as Executive Director since 2013.  The LGC is a nationally recognized nonprofit connecting local leaders, implementing innovative solutions and advancing smart-growth policies.  Meis has been recognized for her climate change work by the Chronicle of Philanthropy as one of the nation's "40 under 40 Young Leaders Who Are Solving the Problems of Today - and Tomorrow."  Meis has helped launch many of the LGC's pioneering programs, including the Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative, the California Adaptation Forum, CivicSpark, and the Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation.

Michael Dela Pena

As a Solar Photovoltaics Installation Trainer, College Instructor, and Solar Business owner, Michael is considered a "Solar-360 Professional".  Michael has been a Photovoltaics Instructor at both American River College and Sierra College, and now teaches Solar at various pre-apprentice training programs across Northern California, with a special focus on low income and re-entry candidates.  Michael serves currently as an Instructor at FourPhase Energy and Hands On Solar.  His experience was groomed in a variety of conditions and environments which includes 10 years of service in the Army, Wireless Telecommunications in the government and private Sectors, and executive roles in startups and nonprofit organizations.  Michael considers GRID Alternatives the turning point in his career; his first installation was through volunteering with GRID!  Michael believes in the future of the green industry and is committed to helping accelerate it's growth.

Sara Long

Sara Long

With 10 years of marketing development and an extensive network within the greater Sacramento area’s solar industry, Sara’s expertise includes lead generation, branding, event planning, and strategic development. She currently serves as the Senior Marketing Manager at Direct & Digital Acquisition at Sunrun, Inc., and has previously worked for Rec Solar, Inc. and Conergy USA in various marketing positions. In 2011,Sara had the pleasure of installing a solar system on a school in Nicaragua with Power to the People! (presently GRID Alternatives International Program).