Out and about with Michael and Brenda

By |

Fresh Energy’s leadership transition is underway

In late April, Fresh Energy shared the exciting news that Dr. Brenda Cassellius was coming on board as the new executive director of Fresh Energy. Brenda’s first day on the team was on May 8, giving her and founding executive director Michael Noble two weeks of overlap before his final day on May 24.

If you know either Michael or Brenda, you can imagine they wasted no time rolling up their sleeves and getting to work. They kicked off Brenda’s first day with a team breakfast and tour of Fresh Energy’s office in downtown Saint Paul and the following weeks have been filled with stakeholder, partner, and donor meetings, events, and more! Check out a few of the highlights:

Electric vehicle showcase at the Capitol

Electric school bus on display at the State Capitol with Brenda Cassellius standing next to it.

Minnesota state agencies and partners including the American Lung Association made the most of the beautiful spring weather and hosted an EV showcase on the Capitol grounds on May 8. In addition to hopping on an electric school bus and checking out the latest and greatest e-bike and vehicle models, Michael and Brenda have enjoyed reaching out to committee chairs and congratulating them in the final days of session.

Meeting regional partners

Brenda Cassellius, Jacob Serfling, Michael Noble, and Marnese Jackson at the Getting to Zero Forum in Minneapolis.
Brenda Cassellius, Jacob Serfling, Michael Noble, and Marnese Jackson at the Getting to Zero Forum in Minneapolis.

In addition to lots of partner and stakeholder meetings, Brenda and Michael also had the opportunity to catch up with some regional colleagues at the Getting to Zero Forum hosted by the New Buildings Institute and RMI in Minneapolis. Marnese Jackson and Jacob Serfling co-lead the Midwest Building Decarbonization Coalition, which was incubated by Fresh Energy and is an important partner in Fresh Energy’s Midwest-focused equity and decarbonization work.

Movie night at The Main Cinema in Minneapolis

Isabel Ricker, director of clean electricity at Fresh Energy, was invited to speak on a panel about the role of nuclear power in Minnesota’s energy supply alongside Dan King, Policy and Outreach Manager at Xcel Energy. The panel discussion took place after a film screening about nuclear technology hosted by Generation Atomic. Brenda and Michael have dedicated much of their time together discussing Fresh Energy’s stance on energy issues and opportunities, including Fresh Energy’s support for a bill this session at the Minnesota Legislature to study advanced nuclear and the role it could play in the energy transition.

Awards ceremony recognizing J. Drake Hamilton

Brenda Cassellius, J. Drake Hamilton, and Michael Noble,
Brenda Cassellius, J. Drake Hamilton, and Michael Noble at the ARCS Foundation event.

On May 17, Fresh Energy’s J. Drake Hamilton, senior director of science policy, and her husband Patrick Hamilton, manager of climate and sustainability at the Science Museum of Minnesota, were honored by the ARCS Foundation of Minnesota at the Weisman Art Museum for their significant contributions to improving our climate here in Minnesota, the U.S., and globally. Michael and Brenda attended the ceremony to honor J.’s 25-year career at Fresh Energy advancing meaningful energy and climate solutions.

The Finnish Delegation comes to Fresh Energy

The work of Fresh Energy’s Energy Transition team, led by Margaret Cherne-Hendrick, caught the attention of Minnesota’s Finnish Delegation. Brenda, Margaret, and the Fresh Energy team were honored to host the delegation at our office to discuss decarbonizing buildings and industry while learning about Finland’s innovative solutions to decarbonize at home and abroad.

As you can imagine, Brenda’s calendar is filling up quickly, but friends of Fresh Energy will have an opportunity to meet her in person soon! Get your tickets and join us for what’s sure to be the celebration of the summer: 100% FRESH. We’ll gather at City House in Saint Paul the evening of June 8 to toast Michael’s retirement, Fresh Energy’s bright future, and Brenda. Space is limited so please purchase your tickets in advance.

See you soon!