Groundswell is powered by people who all share a commitment to our mission of building community power.
Lenwood I. Coleman is an accomplished professional with extensive experience in: federal, state, private sector partnerships and community development. Mr. Coleman has served in various leadership positions throughout his career in community focused organizations: Legacy Foundation Non-Profit, Prolific Solutions LLC, South West Community Development Corporation, and the South Washington West of the River Family Strengthening Collaborative to name a few. As a Disable Veteran (Air Force) he has served his country with distinction. He is committed to improving lives and families through the process of empowerment: economics, training, housing, health, and employment. Resulting in a quality of life that brings pride and respect back into each community touched by our vision.
Nadya has spent more than 10 years in the nonprofit healthcare industry; specifically serving blood cancer patients and their families by building strategic partnerships with national corporate, collegiate, and community organizations. Nadya co-founded a national program called Be The Match On Campus, which now has more than 85 collegiate chapters of students dedicated to improving the lives of patients waiting for life-saving bone marrow transplants. At Groundswell, Nadya uses her relationship-building and customer service skills to help alleviate the financial burdens faced by working families who struggle to pay their electric bills each month. Each day, Nadya returns home to Baltimore City where she works to facilitate positive changes for neighborhoods struggling to provide a safe and thriving environment for their residents. Nadya is loved and supported by her fiancé and joyful, energetic 2-year old daughter for whom she works to leave the world better than she found it.
John has worked in the solar industry for years, working as an consultant for residential solar development with Solar City while working to bring a better energy solution to residential areas in DC. While working within the solar industry, John saw the issues with how big solar companies operated and how the focus on profit left many families out of the clean energy economy who most desperately could use its benefits, so he set out to join Groundswell, a place he felt would allow him to further pursue his desire to impact the people who really needed a better choice in energy. John also has a background in computer programming and software implementation, working with the Groundswell team to implement efficient and effective business processes to better deliver our programs to the communities we serve.
Dant'e O. King is not only a pastor, author and philanthropist, but he's also a community organizer. He's the Co-Founder of the Southern Maryland Action Coalition (Now TRUST) and sits on the board of the Empowerment Movement. Dant'es passion for renewable energy began when he worked at Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant and Brandon Shores coal plants and first hand saw the dangers of fossil energy. He believes one of his major responsibility as a community leader is to teach, reach and equip the community as it relates to renewable energy sources. He lives by the mantra, "We have one world that each one of us is responsible for".
Bernie brings to Groundswell a proven track record as an innovator, coalition builder, and strategic planner in the public and non-profit sectors. Dedicated to empowering organizations to evolve new capabilities in response to emerging challenges, Bernie has helped senior executives work across organizational silos to implement collaborative solutions. A community organizer at heart, Bernie is a skilled facilitator who has led organizations through successful lean six sigma and human centered design management transformation processes.
Prior to joining Groundswell, Bernie served as a senior political appointee in the Obama Administration at the US Office of Personnel Management. His responsibilities included overseeing the implementation of government-wide initiatives as part of the President’s Management Agenda. Bernie led the Federal payroll consolidation initiative, accountable for $300M in operating expense at five Federal agencies and launched a government-wide shared services initiative to eliminate redundancy in human resources management projected to eliminate $1 billion in duplication and waste.
Bernie has deep experience as an entrepreneur, successfully raising venture capital and building successful organizations in new technology-driven market spaces. He is the founder of Omnipod, a messaging and collaboration technology provider that was acquired by MessageLabs (now Symantec) in 2005. He is a graduate of Williams College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Business.
Kristal's background in communication and passion for advocacy for those in need brought her to Groundswell in 2015. Kristal received her BS in Communications and is currently pursing certification in Human Resource Management. As the Operations Manager at Groundswell, Kristal provides support and administration for all Groundswell's programs. Before coming to Groundswell, Kristal directed a childcare center, which allowed her to hone the skills of task management, administration, record-keeping, and budget development, while providing care to children from low income families. Kristal has served in her local church assembly as a Sunday school teacher, children's choir director, praise team leader and volunteer for special events. While dedicated to serving others, one of Kristal’s greatest joys is being a mom. Evan as a working mother, she still finds time to do the things she loves, like sewing clothes and singing—she has performed in stage plays and musicals and has sung at the Kennedy Center with the Maryland State Honors Chorus. Kristal's desire to make a difference in her community through service, and her belief that everyone has the right to equality, are the foundation of her work at Groundswell.
Nina is a recent graduate of the the University of Texas at Austin, having earned a B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering and an interdisciplinary certificate in Sustainability. While attending school, she contributed to several clean energy studies through the LBJ School of Public Affairs. She was also actively involved in service efforts, with soft spots for low-income students, families dealing with cancer, and Austin’s homeless population. She also led a student team in designing, funding, and constructing a community center in a South Indian village. As a first-term project manager, she emphasized strong team, client, and community relationships, setting the groundwork for a resilient and empowering year.
Having lived in several parts of the world and now making a home in DC, Nina aims to bridge her STEM background with socioeconomics, urban planning, and social media to strengthen and support communities around the globe.
A social entrepreneur and former White House official with roots in rural Georgia, Michelle is a relentless agent for change. Her accomplishments range from helping build the global green building movement to leading the sustainability team for the Obama White House. Through Michelle’s work, she has created multi-billion dollar public-private partnerships to drive energy retrofits, developed new global climate programs for the Clinton Foundation, and led successful campaigns to multiply Federal renewable energy usage. Michelle's purpose-focused work extends to her volunteer leadership commitments. She serves on the Advisory Board of the Smithsonian Science Education Center, as a Senior Fellow for energy and infrastructure at the Council on Competitiveness, and on the Advisory Board of Tribal Planet, a mobile movement-building company. Michelle’s passion for building community power is rooted in her faith and the commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself.”
Emily Robichaux is passionate about sustainability, social justice, and the role of socially responsible businesses and enterprising nonprofits in reducing environmental and social inequality. She is pursuing a master’s in sustainable business administration in the Bard MBA in Sustainability program to help lead the change to a more just and green society. A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she has lived in DC since 2005 and brings over a decade of program and project management experience as well as interests in finance, data analytics, and strategy. She holds bachelor’s degrees in French and Government from Smith College and was a member of the winning team in the 2017 Columbia University Energy Symposium Case Competition.
A LEED Accredited Professional with 10 years of green building and sustainability experience, Dave brings a strong technical grounding in energy efficiency and data analysis as he focuses on deepening the impact of Groundswell’s programs. Before coming to Groundswell, Dave played a leading role in developing sustainability plans for government agencies and increasing the resilience of aging federal buildings to the effects of climate change. Dave also served as a Technical Reviewer for a major World Resources Institute report on greenhouse gas emissions accounting in the U.S. public sector. In his adopted hometown of Washington DC, Dave has taught English as a Second Language classes and has volunteered with Back On My Feet, an organization that combats homelessness through the power of running, community support, and employment and housing resources. In his spare time, Dave also performs at the Kennedy Center as a tenor in The Washington Chorus.
Arvin Ganesan is AEE's Vice President for Federal Policy. He brings over fifteen years of experience in Washington, D.C. as a high ranking federal official, a senior adviser to a U.S. Senator and an investment analyst. At AEE, Arvin develops policies and advocates for them to Congress and the executive branch departments, agencies and commissions policies that drive innovation and the deployment of advanced energy technologies.
Prior to joining AEE, he served in the Obama Administration at the Environmental Protection Agency, in several posts. Most recently in government, he served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy to EPA Administration Gina McCarthy, where he worked on numerous EPA regulations, ranging from the Clean Power Plan to the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act. While serving in the Obama Administration, Arvin was also appointed as Associate Administrator for Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations, where he worked with Congress, Mayors, and Governors on environmental issues.
Before these appointments, Arvin served as the senior policy adviser on energy and environmental issues to the late Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ).
Raj is currently involved in developing energy storage technologies as a co-founder and head of engineering, at Automatiks Inc, a Sunnyvale, CA based startup delivering Hybrid micro grid and off grid power systems in product form for off-grid and poor grid regions. The innovative distributed generation and storage technologies being perfected here will serve the emerging storage revolution in first world grids as we seek higher and higher renewable reliance and will fuel the transformation of the current power grid into a cascade of self reliant micro-grids powered mainly by renewables.
Automatiks today builds hybrid off grid micro-grids that enable adoption of solar and other renewables in remote and island locations where the first world model of grid tied solar does not make sense. Raj fervently believes in the role of renewable energy as a means for people to gain some control of their own destiny.
Recent experiences include Solar PV, Energy storage, off grid renewable power and distributed generation. Past experiences include Semiconductors, High performance computing systems, Wireless communications, CPU architecture, Systems software, Software defined networking, and Utility energy grid security and analytics and Secure semiconductors.
He serves as a technology consultant and subject matter expert to Capricorn Investment Group, a large fund investing in clean energy technologies, power, water and health care, where he works closely with the portfolio’s energy related companies on technology and product strategy. Elsewhere, he is a technology and market consultant in the domains of secure semiconductors and utility and grid security. He also serves on a select number of boards.
Kimberly Lewis is internationally recognized for her leadership in the sustainability movement, including developing Greenbuild into the world’s largest sustainability conference; leading the U.S. Green Building Council’s Chapter Program; and building partnerships that invite more diverse communities into the green building movement. Kimberly’s vision is to integrate, diversify and globalize the green building community's volunteers, chapters and emerging professionals from around the world.
Kimberly has served on the advisory boards of Starwood Hotels, Marriott International Hotels and convention and visitors bureaus in Atlanta, Denver and New Orleans. She is a member of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), the Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC) and the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), where she has served on the CSR Task Force.
Committed to healthy communities and equitable access to green building regardless of income level, Kimberly has been recognized with numerous awards. In April 2011, Kimberly received prestigious recognition as the White House Champion of Change for Clean Energy. Later that year, she was named the inaugural president of the Green Meetings Industry Council’s Greater Washington Area Chapter.
Kimberly is a Minister in the United Church of Jesus Christ, and is a national convener of the faith community around environmental priorities. Working in partnership with Green For All, she recently helped to launch the Green the Black Church movement. Kimberly is a graduate of Hood College, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Political Science.
Zach is the leading expert in distributed/decentralized systems architecture and innovative conceptualization. He has been involved with design and implementation projects across a spectrum of sectors (renewable energy companies, government agencies) including renewable energy microgrids, mobile web and database integration projects, and product design and engineering. He has consulted in the areas of public policy and sustainability, product innovation, and strategic applications of renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Zach began honing his expertise in the mid-1990s at Frogdesign in San Francisco, a global design firm specializing in the fusion of product development, brand, and digital technology. The company is renowned for delivering inter-connceted experiences that span multiple technologies, platforms, and media. As a serial entrepreneur, he founded ZeroBase Energy and developed the ReGenerator Energy platform, a flexible distributed architecture that has fundamentally re-imagined the way nodal renewable energy is delivered. ZeroBase Energy is an extension of one of his first ventures, Innovative Charitable Solutions (ICS), where he was a co-founder.
He holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University.
Cynthia Muller is the program and portfolio officer at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation based out of Battle Creek, Michigan.
She is part of the Mission Driven Investments team at the foundation. In this role, she is responsible for developing and managing strategic impact investment activities that address systemic barriers that create vulnerable conditions for historically marginalized communities and children. Her work includes sourcing and deploying market rate investments to increase social change impact; ongoing analysis of solutions and trends; developing relationships within the field; fostering alliances with community, corporate, government and philanthropic partners; and supporting the overall direction and implementation of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s strategic framework.
Prior to joining the foundation, Muller developed and managed Arabella Advisors impact investing practice where she helped foundations and individuals understand the field of impact investing; develop strategies and structure investments to accomplish their social and environmental goals. During her tenure she oversaw deal sourcing and structuring of investments in health, education, microfinance, housing, and green technology—both domestically and internationally. Muller also led several evaluations of impact investment portfolios, and she regularly presented and blogged about trends and practices within the field.
Muller previously led strategic initiatives at Capital Impact Partners, where she developed and managed impact investments and worked on nationally focused investment funds and initiatives targeting health, food, education, energy efficiency, and economic development. Cynthia serves on the boards of Groundswell and Enterprise Community Loan Fund.
Muller holds a Master of Business Administration from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Stanford University.
Prior to joining Arabella Advisors, Cynthia worked strategic initiatives in mission-driven organizations. As director of strategic investments at Capital Impact Partners, where she managed over $80 million impact investments and worked on nationally focused investment funds and initiatives targeting health food, education, energy efficiency, health and economic development. Cynthia serves on the board of UHAMBO USA and has also served on the board of the CIRI Foundation. Cynthia has a bachelor's degree from Stanford University and an MBA from the University of Washington.
Christopher Murray is a founding partner of Thompson Coburn's Lobbying & Policy group. Chris's practice focuses on the political and regulatory issues affecting the education sector. Chris is a frequent speaker and author on various education policy topics, most often on the intersection of technology and education. Chris received his J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School, where he was an editor of the Vanderbilt Law Review, and his B.A. in Government and Theology from Georgetown University.
Ruth Ann Norton serves as President & CEO of Green & Healthy Homes Initiative. A dedicated advocate for healthy housing, she broadened the mission of the organization, formerly known as the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, by designing a groundbreaking national program built on a framework of cross-sector collaboration to efficiently deliver green, healthy and safe homes in communities throughout the U.S. A founding member of the Maryland Lead Poisoning Prevention Commission, she led the efforts in Maryland to reduce childhood lead poisoning by 98% and helped develop 27 pieces of state and local legislation to prevent lead poisoning and create healthier homes. She is a member of Maryland's Workgroup for Workforce Development for Community Health Workers, the National Resources Defense Council's Energy Efficiency for All and serves on the steering committee for Network Energy Water and Health in Affordable Housing.
Bryce is an assistant professor of accounting at the University of Rochester's Simon School of Business. He received his PhD in accounting from the University of Southern California with a dissertation focusing on financial reporting for asset impairments. His research interests focus on financial reporting and include earnings quality, debt-holder uses of accounting information, and the effect of accounting information on asset prices. Bryce's undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Colorado at Boulder are also in accounting, and he currently holds an active CPA license. In 2007, he received an Elijah Watt Sells award for obtaining one of the top ten scores on the complete CPA exam. Before starting his PhD program, Bryce spent two years working in the electronic audit support group at PricewaterhouseCoopers. A volunteer with a number of community service organizations, Bryce worked for several years with CCEO Youthbuild Charter School, a Los Angeles-based organization that provides alternative education and construction training to youth from disadvantaged communities. Bryce lives in Rochester, NY. In his free time, he enjoys yoga, hiking, backpacking, and reading accounting research and post-modern literature.
Stockton leads strategy, staff, and budgeting for ULI research, analysis, and advocacy on the global priority issues for ULI members: affordable housing, real estate finance, sustainability and economic performance, innovation in development practice, and shaping successful cities and regions. He concurrently runs the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing, which provides analysis and advice nationally to housing industry leaders and local communities on housing policy design and implementation, emerging trends in residential demand and demographics, and innovations in design and development that expand housing affordability.
Stockton is author of recent industry leading ULI research on demographic drivers of housing demand, suburban housing futures, the economics of inclusionary development, and emerging strategies for affordable preservation. He serves as principal advocate for ULI priorities with national industry organizations and public officials and primary spokesperson with the media.
Stockton was previously Managing Principal of the Washington, D.C. office of HR&A Advisors. He also served as Senior Advisor in two Federal Cabinet agencies: the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Energy. He has been Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at Enterprise Community Partners; a Senior Advisor at Living Cities; and a developer of affordable housing. Stockton is Chairman of the Board of Groundswell, a clean energy social enterprise. He holds an M.S. from Columbia University and a B.A. from Princeton University.
Pranay Kohli joined Groundswell in 2017 to facilitate the expansion of our solar and sustainable development activity. Pranay is an internationally experienced energy sector consultant who has advised Fortune 100 corporations as well as the governments of Germany, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, India and the European Commission on energy issues. Pranay has held prior positions at Ernst & Young Management Consulting and IBM Global Services.
Pranay has master’s degrees in Physics & Energy Systems from the India Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT), India; served as a Guest Scientist at the Technical University of Munich, Germany and has taken business administration coursework at Stockholm University, Sweden.
Pranay has served on the Boards of several organizations including: the Maryland Clean Energy Center (MCEC), the Maryland-DC-Virginia Solar Energy Industry Association (MDV-SEIA), and is an adviser to the Institute for Energy and Environment Research (IEER).
Phil is a highly-regarded design strategist who co-founded Modo Design Group ten years ago. His vision for design is applauded by the national and international idea-driven organizations whom he advises. Phil is a strategic problem solver, uniquely equipped with an intuitive design aesthetic and strong technical capability. With a degree from the acclaimed Maryland Institute, College of Art, Phil’s work has been featured in Wired and Greensource magazines, at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and has been awarded recognition from the Webby’s, Davey Awards, W3 Awards, and Pixel Awards. His preferred medium is the internet and his preferred conveyance is a bicycle.
Kristine is a strategic communicator whose work focuses on creating connection. She writes and curates targeted content for national and international idea-driven clients. As co-founder of Modo Design Group, Kristine crafts workplace practices and workspace design to maximize culture, employee happiness and productivity. In a former life, Kristine led the lobbying efforts for nonprofit organizations including strategic messaging for the nation’s governors. She holds a master’s degree in Nonprofit Management. Kristine’s other life ambitions are instilling a unique sense-of-self in each of her three kids and trying to get to a yoga class.
With more than a decade of experience as a senior communications official at the White House and a reporter for major daily newspapers and trade publications, Taryn is an expert writer and communications strategist who is passionate about advocating for fairness in our economy and communities. Formerly, Taryn was the Communications Director for the White House Council on Environmental Quality.