We are community energy enthusiasts, citizen activists and student leaders. We see energy efficiency as the first step toward relocalizing our energy economies. We have created CEF to support our communities in the process of building people-powered solutions to the energy crisis and climate change.
Cooperative Energy Futures is comprised of a Board of Directors and a Coordination Team, which handles the day-to-day operations of the cooperative. Our entire organization is volunteer at this point; if you are interested in joining us, check out our Get Involved page. Learn about our team:
Board of Directors
Timothy Den-Herder Thomas | Chair
Timothy DenHerder-Thomas grew up in Jersey City NJ, which helped him make the connections between energy usage, pollution, poverty, social fragmentation, and environmental destruction. Ever since, he’s been working to create whole-picture solutions to these inter-connected crises. Timothy graduated from Macalester College, where he helped secure bold carbon neutrality policy and pioneer the Clean Energy Revolving Fund (CERF), which supports self-financing energy efficiency projects. From there, he launched Cooperative Energy Futures, helping pilot it’s bulk buying and workshop programs, building and organizing the team, and investigating innovative models for community energy ownership and community participation in energy markets. Timothy has also been closely involved in the Alliance to Re-Industrialize for a Sustainable Economy (ARISE), a green industry coalition working to transform an aging industrial site in St. Paul into a mixed-use green industrial center and in launching Our Power, a campaign to expand access to energy efficiency and clean energy in South Minneapolis. Timothy also helped found Grand Aspirations, which supports teams of youth innovators in 16 cities to create green economic opportunity for themselves and their communities through innovative energy efficiency, green industry, sustainable food, transit access, and clean energy solutions. Timothy, now 25, is a Young People For Fellow, a Morris K. Udall Scholar, a Goldman Sachs Global Leader, and a recipient of the 2008 Brower Youth Award and the 2009 Mario Savio Award.
Brianna Besch | Secretary
Brianna Besch is a junior Environmental Studies and Geography major at Macalester College, and has been working with CEF since September 2009. She started as a member of the coordination team and worked to build capacity and create clear communication materials about CEF. Brianna continued her work though the Summer of Solutions program on outreach and asset mapping in the Phillips community as well as creating a long-term business plan for the co-op. Most recently her work has been focused on continued long-term co-op business planning and taking over as a general operations manager. Brianna joined the board in September 2010 as a student representative carrying on the relationship between CEF and the Macalester community. Brianna continues to be inspired by CEF’s innovative thinking around a vision for a community based, distributed and equitable energy system.
Kristen is a long time energy activist and community organizer. She has served as an organizational development partner on the CEF coordination team which brought CEF from a common vision to a full fledged 308B Minnesota Cooperative in February, 2009. Kristen was a co-founder of CURE, a community group which advocates for local energy solutions. CURE was an organizing force in the first “Sharing the Load” conference in St. Cloud in 2001, and an active member of the SEED coalition of Minnesota Project from 1997-2006. Kristen has participated extensively, as a public advocate, in proceedings before the Public Utilities Commission and has served appointments to various state and legislative advisory and stakeholder groups. In 2006, Kristen graduated from the Humphrey Institute with a Master’s degree in “Public Engagement in Energy Policy, Planning and Infrastructure Development.” She is an enthusiastic social entrepreneur and a proud founding board member of Cooperative Energy Futures.
Organizing and Sales
Community Energy Organizer: Colin McKiernan
Volunteer Organizer and Workshop Facilitator: Ruby Levine
Ruby has been involved with Cooperative Energy Futures since the summer of 2008. She has been a leader on the bulk insulation projects in Merriam Park and South Minneapolis. She helped to design the workshop curriculum and delivers workshops in Spanish and English. She is also an organizer for the Summer of Solutions program in the Twin Cities and nationally. She graduated from Macalester College in 2011.