Fresh Energy’s board and staff gathered to celebrate the decades of leadership from Executive Director Michael Noble and Senior Director of Science Policy J. Drake Hamilton by dedicating a room in their honor at Fresh Energy’s office in downtown Saint Paul.
More than a year in the works, Anna Johnson, senior manager, state and local affairs, who led the room naming process with staff and board, was joined by Board Chair Jacquie Johnson in making remarks at the surprise dedication gathering.
The Fresh Energy Board of Directors chose to name the space the, “Michael Noble and J. Drake Hamilton Northern Pocket Gopher Room” in honor of Michael and J.’s legacy as Fresh Energy leaders because they never lose track of the fundamentals or the big picture—even in the face of new and emerging concerns.
The room’s name fits into the naming theme used at Fresh Energy’s office that recognizes Minnesota flora and fauna that are adversely at risk due to climate change. The Northern Pocket Gopher Room is the ninth named room and joins rooms named for Wild Rice, the Rusty Patched Bumblebee, Quaking Aspen, the Mudpuppy, the Northern Sunfish, the Canada Lynx, the Boreal Owl, and the Morel Mushroom.
The art for these rooms was created by Minnesota-based artist Amarilys Henderson and joins 10 of her other unique watercolors throughout the office. Each room name was thoughtfully selected by Fresh Energy program teams and the descriptions were crafted by Anna Johnson and a small group to explain the circumstances of each creature and how Fresh Energy’s work helps safeguard the places they call home. The descriptions can be found hanging in each meeting room and online here.