Welcome John to the Energy Access and Equity team! 

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John in front of Paul Bunyan & Babe the Blue Ox Statues in Bemidji Minnesota.

As Fresh Energy continues to drive bold, equitable solutions to the climate crisis to achieve a clean energy future that works for all Minnesotans, we’re thrilled to welcome a new member to the team. Read more to get to know John Vaughn!

In his role as Managing Director of Inclusive Finance on the Energy Access and Equity team, John will help Fresh Energy build a new strategy to achieve our goal of a just and equitable energy transition through clean energy financing, economic development, and workforce development. An initial focus for John in this new role will be supporting the distribution of federal clean energy funding in Minnesota to ensure benefits reach under-resourced communities, communities of color, and those residing outside of the Twin Cities.

John brings years of experience working with communities and small businesses across Minnesota to Fresh Energy. Much of John’s career has been dedicated to economic and community development in the Twin Cities, having served as the executive director of the East Side Neighborhood Development Company and Dayton’s Bluff Community Council in Saint Paul as well as the Northeast Community Development Corporation in Minneapolis.

In 2019, John took his experience and bridged into rural solar development in Northern Minnesota, joining the team at Rural Renewable Energy Alliance (RREAL) where his work focused on using solar to reduce poverty in Central and Northern Minnesota. This included building solar projects and partnering with entities such as the White Earth Tribal and Community College to create a nationally certified solar tech training program. In 2022, John contracted with the Minnesota Housing Partnership to recruit and provide technical assistance for emerging housing developers of color in Northern Minnesota.

John lives in Stillwater, Minnesota, where he spends his spare time renovating a historic home built in 1885. John and his son, Conor, enjoy spending time at their off-the-grid cabin near Silver Bay where they frequent the Northshore Trail and Tettegouche State Park. Read John’s staff bio here.