Will Byrne, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer
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As Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Will oversees the strategy and management of Groundswell. Under his leadership, Groundswell has grown into one of the most innovative social sector organizations in the United States’ emerging clean energy economy.
In 2012, he was awarded a Fellowship from Ashoka Innovators for the Public, the world’s largest social entrepreneurship network. In addition, Forbes magazine named him to its 30 Under 30 list of social entrepreneurs. Will was selected to attend the June 2011 Clinton Global Initiative America conference in Chicago - the first event of its kind focused on creating jobs and driving economic growth in the U.S. President Bill Clinton honored Groundswell's Commitment to Action to deploy nationwide its new market organizing model to advance clean energy economic opportunity in communities across the U.S.
In 2011, in recognition of Groundswell's community-led impact in the clean energy sector, the White House awarded Will the Champions of Change honor, and the World Economic Forum selected him as a member of its Young Global Shapers community.
Elizabeth Lindsey, Chief Operating Officer
As Chief Operating Officer, Elizabeth is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations and programmatic priorities of Groundswell. Elizabeth also represents the organization with critical local and national partners and leads Groundswell's local fund development efforts.
Before joining Groundswell, Elizabeth served as Policy Advisor in the D.C. Department of Employment Services (DOES), where she spearheaded the agency's efforts to link D.C. residents with careers in emerging industries. While at DOES, Elizabeth developed D.C.’s first on-the-job training program in health care and green jobs and helped to guide the implementation of Capital Health Careers, a program that provides training in allied health fields to hundreds of area residents. From 2007 until 2009, Elizabeth led New Jersey's small, minority and women business development initiatives as the New Jersey Associate Assistant State Treasurer for Economic Development.
Elizabeth is a sought-after speaker and expert on the clean economy and green jobs. She has presented at numerous national and regional conferences, including the national Good Jobs Green Jobs conference, the Campus Progress 2011 National Conference, and the Smithsonian Institution's "Greening Greater Washington" Seminar. Elizabeth also served on the Mid-Atlantic Regional Consortium's Green Labor Market Information Steering Committee.
Elizabeth holds a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs and Urban and Regional Planning from Princeton University as well as a B.A. in French and History from Swarthmore College. She and her husband are proud homeowners in Southwest D.C.
Alexandria McBride, Operations & Finance Director
Alexandria oversees the organization’s financial and operational functions and works closely with program and department directors to help identify and implement systems that improve the efficiency and quality of Groundswell’s impact.
Prior to joining Groundswell, Alexandria worked for ExxonMobil Environmental Services Company in multiple project and operational management roles. While at ExxonMobil, she collaborated with local government officials and community stakeholders to steward environmental cleanup projects across the Mid-Atlantic. Alexandria also managed the transfer of environmental responsibility during ExxonMobil’s large-scale divestment of properties in New York and New Jersey. This role included the development of a complex financial accounting process for a multi-million dollar environmental project in New Jersey.
While pursuing her studies, Alexandria started a chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) at her alma mater, Howard University. Alexandria promoted EWB's mission of implementing community-driven development programs by leading the chapter’s projects in Kenya, Panama and Brazil. Her chapter received a Clinton Global Initiative Outstanding Commitment Award in 2009. Alexandria has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Howard University.
Anna Schumacher, Operations Associate
As part of the Operations team, Anna supports the smooth and effective operations of Groundswell's staff, office, and programs. Before joining Groundswell, Anna worked for Sertich Consulting, a firm focused on rural economic development and higher education policy in her native Minnesota. She has worked with diverse stakeholder groups - small businesses, educational institutions, state agencies, and other entities - to facilitate workforce development and policy reform, especially to increase access to higher education through partnerships between local businesses and two-year colleges. Through work and travel she has learned the unique challenges facing rural and urban communities and the importance of building economic strength through strategic collaboration at a grassroots level. Anna also brings a background in and passion for leadership and strengths training.
Anna graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Economics from the College of Saint Benedict. She was a 2011-2012 Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India. She is a StartingBloc Fellow and is excited to be working in the social enterprise space.
Katy Gathright, Executive and Communications Assistant
Katy provides support to a number of departments at Groundswell, working specifically in the executive’s office to assist with communications and development strategy.
Prior to joining Groundswell, Katy co-founded Designed Good, an online store with the goal to shift the marketplace towards a more sustainable one through storytelling. She found her love for storytelling in college, where she was the managing editor of The Williams Record, the independent student newspaper where the priority was finding and telling the stories that best served the college community – with a critical eye to aid problem solving.
Between her small liberal arts college experience and the chance to work so closely with the newspaper staff and her co-founders, Katy is excited to be part of Groundswell not only because it is a dynamic team, but also because the organization helps individuals and communities become supportive teams in turn.
Katy graduated cum laude with a B.A. in English and History from Williams College, including a year at the Williams-Exeter Programme at Oxford University.
Sam Witherbee, Director of Commercial Programs
Sam leads the strategy and implementation of Groundswell's Community Power Project and Commercial Energy Efficiency programming. He has successfully brought together broad-based coalitions to leverage their collective buying power and transform energy markets. Sam has been quoted in articles in GOOD Magazine and the Associated Press, which featured the program. Previously, he was responsible for directing the organization's training with national partners to equip communities with the tools to drive an equitable green economy. Sam was also the initial developer and implementer of Groundswell's community mobilization model and strategy in his role as the Director of WeatherizeDC (now the Strong Homes Program). Before helping to launch Groundswell, Sam worked for the Obama for America Campaign and traveled the country organizing communities and building volunteer leadership teams.
Sam has also organized around environmental issues with the Carbon Coalition, where he spearheaded a two-year, statewide grassroots effort in New Hampshire that established local energy committees in 90 towns. He is a graduate of Bates College.
Michael Drummond, Community Power Manager
Michael manages the implementation of Groundswell's Community Power Project, which brings together a variety of community organizations to leverage their collective buying power in the energy market.
Michael is committed to creating positive social and environmental impacts through innovative, market-based approaches.
Prior to joining Groundswell, Michael was the co-founder and executive director of an environmental non-profit that worked with the construction and demolition industry to keep building materials out of landfills. Michael is a graduate of the Evergreen State College and the University of Washington School of Law.
Kat Klausing, Community Power Coordinator
Kat serves in a variety of roles for Groundswell, including program management, grant writing and development, board relations and communications. Most recently, Kat co-managed Groundswell's work in energy efficiency for institutional buildings, and previously directed the organization's transition to a new identity and brand. Prior to joining Groundswell, Kat published research on Chinese criminal law through her work for an international law firm in Beijing. Her previous experience also includes helping to reorganize a community outreach program for a D.C. advocacy group and government relations for a trade association.
Kat holds an interdisciplinary degree in communications, legal studies, government and philosophy from American University.
Brett Wiley, Director of Residential Programs
Brett leads the design and strategy for Groundswell's residential programs and supports their implementation. In his role as Director of Residential Programs, Brett builds partnerships, manages program staff, and develops new tactics to grow the demand for the Strong Homes Program and Community Power Project, which invest in the clean economy and reinvest in communities. He has been part of the bottom up change at Groundswell since 2010 when he started volunteering with the organization, later becoming a Fellow and joining the staff soon thereafter.
As principal spokesperson for the residential programs, Brett has been interviewed on popular local radio programs, including Metro Watch on WPFW Pacifica Radio 89.3 FM and Soulful Green Living on We Act Radio WPWC 1480 AM. Born and raised in the Heartland, Brett's path to DC is as deep as the prairie roots of his home. In the Missouri glades, he developed population and habitat models for a threatened plant species. With the support of local businesses and farmers, he co-founded a bike co-op and a bakery. Brett turned to supporting student leaders as field organizer of Missouri PowerShift, a state-wide conference showing the power of youth and clean energy. Having gained a grassroots perspective, he sought to understand the grasstops approach by working for three government agencies, including The White House Council on Environmental Quality.
A Truman State University graduate, Brett holds a B.S. in Biology with an Environmental Studies minor.
Lindsey Warren-Shriner, Field Organizer, Strong Homes Program
As a Field Organizer with Groundswell's Strong Homes Program, Lindsey builds partnerships with organizations, communities, and homeowners to increase demand for energy efficiency in Maryland.
Prior to joining Groundswell, Lindsey worked as a field organizer with the 2012 Obama campaign in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where she built a field program in a highly competitive county and developed a strong appreciation for the power of organizing. Lindsey's background in environmental issues includes work at the National Wildlife Federation, the Natural Resources Council of Maine, and the Maine Energy Education Program.
Lindsey graduated from Bowdoin College with a B.A. in Government & Legal Studies and Environmental Studies, and she is excited to combine her interests and experience in organizing and sustainability at Groundswell.
Erica Stout, Field Manager, Strong Homes Program
Erica directs the implementation of the Strong Homes Program, which brings together homeowners in DC and Maryland to collectively purchase energy efficiency upgrades for their homes. As Field Manager, Erica supports Strong Homes staff, and builds strategic partnerships to insure long-term success of the program.
Erica joined Groundswell with a history of organizing for sustainability in her native Montgomery County, MD and across the state from a young age, as well as a background in small business management. As a high-school student, she led her peers to introduce and pass a bill for Montgomery County to purchase 20% local, renewable energy, resulting in the largest clean energy purchase by any U.S. county at the time. In college, she co-founded and served as the Operations Director for the Maryland Student Climate Coalition, which successfully pushed the University System of Maryland to commit to carbon neutrality.
For seven years, she worked with the Sierra Student Coalition to help train and support hundreds of young leaders working toward clean energy and sustainability goals in their communities. As part of her work, Erica served on the Executive, Anti-Oppression and Personnel Committees.
Erica previously worked as the Operations Associate for Groundswell, and is excited to be working again for sustainability in Maryland and DC as the Field Manager. Erica graduated cum laude with a degree in Sociology and Women's Studies from the University of Maryland.
Peter Roquemore, Field Organizer, Strong Homes Program
Peter comes to Groundswell with a background in organizing on energy and climate issues. At Groundswell, he works to build demand for energy efficiency in Maryland with the Strong Homes Program by building relationships with partner organizations and homeowners.
As a pastor's son, Peter grew up understanding how meaningful a strong community can be for an individual or family and how people of vastly diverse backgrounds can come together, support each other and accomplish great things.
Peter developed a background in community organizing as student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he worked with student and community organizations on sustainability, sat on the Indiana Borough Council as the Student Representative and passed on organizing skills to hundreds of students as a volunteer trainer with the Sierra Student Coalition.
Peter graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Religious Studies from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Before joining Groundswell, Peter worked on clean energy policy with the Union of Concerned Scientists and Physicians for Social Responsibility, and he is now excited to get back into the field to create tangible solutions in communities.
Adam Weber, Program Associate, Strong Homes Program
Adam contributes to the success of the Strong Homes Program by coordinating a smooth and results-driven relationship between homeowners, building performance contractors and organizational partners.
Adam brings to Groundswell a background in residential energy efficiency, having worked for a start-up building performance contractor as a certified BPI auditor, RESNET HERS Rater and weatherization technician.
Adam holds a Master's degree in Human-Environment Relations from Cornell University in addition to a B.A. in Psychology from Ithaca College. For his Master's thesis, he traveled the United States to conduct a qualitative assessment of the pilot roll-out of the US Green Building Council's LEED-ND rating system. Adam has previously worked as a fellow for land conservation nonprofit, the Piedmont Environmental Council and as an intern for EcoVillage at Ithaca. Most recently, Adam enjoyed a fruitful stint working as a brain trainer for a cognitive enhancement center in New York City.
Caroline Howe, Director, Civic Consumption Program
Caroline is working with Groundswell on building the field of civic consumption, by convening other practitioners, collecting best practices, and identifying new ways to share the tools of civic consumption in new fields.
She is currently a Legatum Fellow in Entrepreneurship and Development at MIT in Boston, focused on solutions for waste management that leverage the power of communities, social entrepreneurs, and new recycling technologies. She created and leads an initiative that aggregates the buying power of small restaurants and street food vendors in New Haven, Connecticut and Boston, Massachusetts to create a market for sustainable packaging and build the capacity of local small enterprise.
Caroline spent 4 years living in India, where she supported environmentally-focused social enterprises on scaling their impact, particularly by coupling the buying power of large community institutions' with that of smaller businesses and individuals to help make sustainable choices affordable for all. She used this model to implement community composting systems hosted by schools and businesses, to scale sales of sustainable packaging, and to increase distribution of solar lantern solutions.
Beyond work in India, Caroline has spent time working with UNICEF on climate mitigation and adaptation in South Africa, Brazil and Madagascar, building cookstoves in Honduras, installing solar and biogas systems in Nepal, studying rural electrification through renewable energy in the Philippines, and organizing with the International Youth Climate Movement to get youth voices heard in the UN climate change negotiations.
Caroline grew up in a small town in Connecticut, where she learned the power of community organizing for safer streets and more protected farmland at a very early age. She studied mechanical and environmental engineering at Yale University, and developed campus programs there around energy efficiency, working both with student groups and the Office of Sustainability.
Max Harper, Co-Founder
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Drawing on his diverse experience in sustainable agriculture, grassroots marketing, business ownership and professional video/media production, Max helped co-found Groundswell in 2009. Previously, Max was a member of the Obama Presidential Transition Team and worked for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A skilled videographer, Max served as a campaign video producer/editor with the Obama 2008 New Media Team and launched a social media consulting company, IB5k.
Serving in several distinct capacities for the organization, Max was frequently at the dynamic and complex interface of multiple organizational departments and programs. Max authored and negotiated the organization’s original Community Workforce Agreement - the first of its kind in the nation. As Innovation Director, Max initiated and helped design enterprise software development. In the early phase of the organization’s development, Max contributed planning, concept, systems thinking as well as fund development support.