Creating effective, long-lasting climate policy

Hyacinth Diehl, Felicia DeSmith, and Rebecca Murray recently became members of Fresh Energy’s Power Circle after talking to their financial advisor Ted Contag, who serves on Fresh Energy’s Board of Directors, about supporting a clean energy non-profit in Minnesota. Ted suggested they check out Fresh Energy’s expertise in clean energy and climate policy, and it quickly became an easy decision.

Hyacinth, Felicia, and Rebecca all have backgrounds in engineering and are interested in supporting effective climate change solutions in Minnesota to prevent its worst impacts. Felicia says, “I want the money I give away to do something meaningful in the world, that addresses the problems that are critical to get through the next 40 to 100 years for humanity.” They became members of Fresh Energy’s Power Circle, a group of annual donors that provide consistent, committed support to our mission shaping and driving bold policy solutions to achieve equitable carbon-neutral economies.

Hyacinth is completely comfortable discussing intense topics after being a member of the founding team at CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity company whose clients include active targets of foreign intelligence operations. He notes that complex problems like cybersecurity and climate change have a range of solutions you can try implementing: some will be effective, some will be affordable, and some will hopefully be both. The important thing, however, is to be laser-focused on effective solutions, not just solutions that sound good.

“It’s such a big job to save the world, and there are a lot of distractions, especially on the climate front,” says Felicia. “Playing the short game while also playing the long game is sophisticated, and to do that effectively is really challenging. It gets me excited to support an organization that’s doing that—that understands how to plant its feet and be effective.”

Living in Minneapolis, it was important to them to support a local- or state-level organization with experts that are working on climate solutions. Hyacinth notes that 15 years ago, he would have been focused on policy to not destroy the natural world. But today, climate change has made those concerns a lot more dire.

Donating to Fresh Energy as Power Circle members was meaningful to Hyacinth, Felicia, and Rebecca because it allowed them to support effective climate policy. They want the money they donate to do something meaningful in the world that addresses critical problems facing our society. There’s a number of things on that list—but Fresh Energy was an easy pick when it came to clean energy and climate policy. “We love effective experts. We want to give them money and get out of their way,” says Felicia. “It takes work to have [Fresh Energy’s] level of expertise. It’s not something you wake up knowing. It’s hard work.”

When asked what they’d tell a friend who was considering making a gift to Fresh Energy, Felicia and Hyacinth made it simple: “If the core place you want to put your effort in is climate policy, the people to put your money in is Fresh Energy. It’s that simple.”

Hyacinth, Felicia, and Rebecca support Fresh Energy because they share our vision for an equitable, decarbonized future, and they understand that building that future requires smart, careful policy that works over the short and long term. We’d like to extend a huge thank you to Hyacinth, Felicia, and Rebecca for being critical members of our Power Circle. You can join them as Power Circle members by setting up an annual donation of $1,000 or more to Fresh Energy today! For more information, please contact Meggie LaValley at