Meet The Team
Board and Leadership
Executive Director, CvilleREA
As Executive Director of CVilleREA, Katie is working to support our members and their ability to continue thriving in the Charlottesville community.
Before moving to Charlottesville, Katie spent over 20 years living and working in New York City. She has spent her career at the intersection of the public and private sector, tackling pressing social issues and working with organizations that serve the underserved. From the AdCouncil to Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America to Change.org, she has built ad campaigns, partnerships, and revenue streams to address the needs of underrepresented populations. She loves helping nonprofits solve problems and harness resources to meet their goals.
Katie graduated from NYU with a Masters in Public Administration and a Bachelors in Marketing and Management. She can often be found cheering for the Yankees, learning to play tennis, or hanging out with her rescue pup, Kaley.
Vice President of Development, Sun Tribe Solar
CvilleREA Board Chair
An award-winning renewable energy executive whose tenure across the solar energy value chain has broadened the deployment of socially responsible construction operations throughout North America, Asia, and Africa, Rich is co-founder and Vice President of Development at Sun Tribe. In this role, Rich oversees the public affairs, client partnerships, and development engineering teams as they deliver comprehensive clean energy solutions for leading universities, public schools, health systems, governments, and private sector companies.
Dedicated to the idea that responsible clean energy development starts in the community, Rich currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Charlottesville Renewable Energy Alliance and the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the Solar Hands-On Instructional Network of Excellence (SHINE), which builds pathways for solar careers in Virginia. He is the recipient of the coveted “Outstanding Alumni” award from Virginia Tech Department of Biological Systems Engineering, as well as the MDV-SEIA “Solar Champion” award for his work supporting solar job growth and training in Virginia.
Previously, Rich helped guide solar construction projects throughout the United States at juwi Solar. Prior to that, Rich served as Construction Manager and Production Management Engineer at Cargill – the largest privately held corporation in the United States, where he managed large-scale construction projects. He also worked to lead solar installations in Uganda for Engineers Without Borders.
Rich holds a Masters in Biological Systems Engineering with a focus on Land and Water Resources, as well as a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, both from Virginia Tech.
Founder and CEO, East Point Energy
Andrew founded East Point Energy and is responsible for the business strategy and execution, as well as building and leading the team. Capitalizing on his ten years of energy development experience in utility-scale solar, and with his vision, work ethic and management skills, Andrew is building East Point Energy into a leading energy storage firm in the United States.
In 2009, Andrew joined as one of the first employees of HelioSage Energy, a utility-scale solar project development firm. Andrew rose through the ranks quickly, and was instrumental in developing HelioSage’s 350 megawatts of contracted solar before the company was acquired by Coronal Energy in 2015. Coronal promoted Andrew to SVP of Operations, where at the end-to-end, utility-scale solar IPP, he managed a 10-12 person Development Engineering and Procurement team, and the development efforts behind a 4 GW utility-scale PV pipeline. When Andrew left to start East Point Energy, Coronal had more than 600 megawatts of PV projects in operation.
Andrew started his career at Lux Research, an independent research and advisory firm providing strategic advice and ongoing intelligence for emerging technologies, including solar photovoltaics and nanotechnology.
Andrew holds a BS in Physics from Bates College and a Masters in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Virginia.
When Andrew isn’t fully immersed in the world of energy storage and battery projects, he likes to spend as much time as possible in the mountains or on the water with his wife, two young boys, and dog.
Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Director, Sigora Solar
Sarah Nerette is Sigora Solar’s Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Director. There, she manages a team of 8, oversees Sigora’s Produce and Reduce job pipeline, maintains relationships with new and existing partners and works to expand the company’s internal and external sustainability efforts. Sarah is Civil Engineer with a background in Sustainable Development and Green Building and holds a LEED Green Associate accreditation. Originally from Haiti, she has a strong passion for social and environmental sustainability, resilient infrastructure and renewable energy. Sarah holds a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Virginia and an MS in Sustainability Management from American University in Washington, DC.
Vice President of Origination and Power Marketing, Ørsted Onshore North America
Melissa leads the Origination and Power marketing team at Ørsted Onshore North America. She directly manages a team of originators while also creating and sustaining lasting strategic relationships across multiple customer verticals within the power industry. Prior to joining Ørsted, she spent five years on Apex Clean Energy’s business development team and five years as a project developer for EDF. Melissa has developed over 1,000 MW operating renewable energy projects. Melissa holds a master’s degree from SUNY Albany and a bachelor’s degree from University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire.
Managing Director, Hexagon Energy
Drew is responsible for overseeing strategic direction and general operations of the company. As Managing Director, Drew is engaged in all facets of the business, including program and policy analysis, site selection and acquisition, project design, energy modeling, interconnection, permitting, off-take agreements, and project financing. Drew also brings 15 years of experience implementing and operating multi-national, national, and regional energy and environmental programs for the world’s major economies, including extensive work in the U.S., Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.
Drew started Hexagon after 11 years at IT and policy consultancy SRA International, where he was Director of Environmental Markets. As Director, Drew was responsible for setting strategic direction, building opportunity pipelines, planning and executing business development activities, and managing project delivery. He also served as a senior advisor to clients, providing guidance on emerging topics such as market oversight, security, system integration, and program development. While at SRA, Drew helped build the world’s second and third largest environmental commodity markets, which manage billions of dollars of commodities.
Prior to SRA International, Drew worked at global consultancy Accenture for 4 years. Drew has a Bachelor of Science with Honors in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Virginia.
Director of Applications Engineering, Lumin
Jon leads Lumin's applications engineering efforts, training Lumin certified installers on how to integrate the energy management platform into their businesses. His solar industry experience helps him understand the complexities of new technology integration and his passion for innovation motivates him to continuously work with the Lumin team to improve the product.
Jon began his career in clean energy at Virginia Tech as a graduate student and research assistant studying community renewable energy systems. After graduation, Jon returned to his hometown of Charlottesville to work for the non-profit Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP). There he helped develop tools for energy measurement and verification projects and launched one of Virginia's first and most successful community Solarize programs, Solarize Charlottesville. In 2014, Jon joined the Sigora Solar team to help grow the business and expand into new markets. Jon is also very passionate about sharing his love of solar with the community. Each year Jon gives numerous presentations to local schools about the science and benefits of solar energy as well as participating in the Dominion and the National Energy Education Project’s Solar for Students program. Jon has a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Mary Washington and a Master’s of Science from Virginia Tech. He is a NABCEP Certified PV Technical Sales Professional.
Environmental Permitting Specialist, Apex Clean Energy
Madeleine Ray is an environmental permitting specialist and the corporate sustainability manager at Apex Clean Energy. She has worked in the renewable energy industry since 2017. Previously, she worked for a civil engineering firm as an environmental scientist. In late 2018, Madeleine established the Charlottesville chapter of Women in Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE), which seeks to support women across all sectors of the renewable energy industry with professional development and networking opportunities. Madeleine, who grew up on a small farm outside of Cleveland, received her bachelor of science degree in environmental biology from Ohio University and her master’s degree in corporate sustainability from the University of York in England.
Interested in becoming a part of the renewable energy revolution in Charlottesville? Join us!