Board Member Profiles

Tom Cotter

Renew Financial
Tom Cotter

Tom Cotter is Regional Sales Manager at Renew Financial.  He is Founder at Tiny Habit Coach, a behavioral chance coaching business. He has addressed over 2,000 groups, is among the top 10% of all influencers on social media and is a Media Adviser on solar, energy efficiency and green jobs.

Previous career roles include serving as Regional Sales Manager at both Sunrun and Real Goods Solar (where he was also a Solar Power Consultant), as an Adjunct Faculty member with Fresno Pacific University and Founder & Partner of Prodigal Clothing, LLC. Tom also worked as a Pastor with Clovis Christian Church for 10 years, beginning in 1996.

His recent philanthropic work includes producing the short documentary film “Forest Man,” which chronicles the story of Jadav Payeng, an Indian man who planted nearly 1,400 acres of forest to save his island, Majuli. It was awarded the Best Documentary prize at the Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.

He is also the Fresno Chapter Founder for the Citizens Climate Lobby (which works to create political will for a sustainable climate), a Board Member of the Solar Living Institute (a non-profit solar training organization promoting sustainable living through environmental education) and a Board Member for Restore Hetch Hetchy (a non-profit working to return the Yosemite National Park to its natural splendor).

Among volunteer causes, Tom is a Mentor with The Climate Reality Project, where he guides new Climate Leaders in their own communities and countries to facilitate change. He serves as a Creation Care Champion with the Evangelical Environmental Network, preaching & teaching about environmental stewardship at churches, ministries, schools and groups.

He earned Bachelor’s degrees in Education and Literature from Ozark Christian College, alongside a Certificate in Geographic Information Systems from the University of California in Riverside.

Sam Geil

Founder & Chairman, IGIHOF
Sam Formal

Sam is the Founder & Chairman of the Board of Directors for IGIHOF. Board Chair of Geil Enterprises, Inc. (GEI) a Fresno, CA based company serving the Industrial Services market. He joined GEI in 2004 and led several initiatives including “Geil Green” focused on sustainability, the Geil Green Brand listed below, and 100% Employee Owned Company (ESOP).

In September 2014, Sam launched Geil Consulting specializing in strategic planning, mentoring and board governance and has developed the “Business Sustainability” model for organizations wishing to integrate sustainability throughout the enterprise.

Sam’s involvement in the Green Industry began during his tenure with Grundfos Pumps and continued at Geil Enterprises Inc. with the acquisition of A-MAZ Cleaning Products. In May of 2007, Sam was a guest of California Governor Schwarzenegger, to participate in the Pacific Economic Summit in Vancouver, British Columbia representing green industries in California.

Sam is a graduate of San Jose State University-School of Business and attended Executive Programs at both the University of Southern California and the Kellogg School of Business. Additionally, Mr. Geil is a Certified Green Build Professional.

Following college, Sam worked in the computer industry with Xerox Corporation (Shugart Associates) based in Sunnyvale, CA. and later joined Data General Corporation, based in Manhattan Beach, CA.

In 1986, Sam joined Grundfos Pumps Corporation (Denmark based company) and over his 18 year tenure was responsible for establishing the Canadian, Mexican, and South American operations, construction projects, sales in Central America and the Caribbean, various international projects and initiatives, and served as a member of the Executive Committee for North America and the United States.

Sam serves on the Board of Center for Advance Research and Technology, Clovis, CA., California State University, Fresno Criminology Advisory Board, Sunnyland Mills, California Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO). Past Board positions include: Climate Ride, Fresno County Public Services Consolidation Committee and the Boys and Girls Club of Fresno County.

Sam has taught business courses at Fresno City College and has been invited to speak and lecture at several events across the United States.

Ally Gaarder

PowerSave Campus UCSB
BYA photo

Ally Gaarder is a senior at UC Santa Barbara studying Environmental Studies and Ecology & Evolution. She is an intern for the PowerSave Campus Program of the Alliance to Save Energy and has served as Student Chapter Representative and President for the UCSB Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society. Through PowerSave Campus, she assisted with organization and marketing for the 5th Annual International Green Industry Hall of Fame (IGIHOF) Conference and Induction Ceremony by serving as the Student Coordinator. After graduation, Ally intends to pursue a career in energy. She would like to begin in solar, but ultimately is very interested in waste management, particularly waste-to-energy. Over consumption and waste is a global issue, especially an American one, and she wants to contribute to the development of responsible waste management systems and behaviors. Energy is also an extremely important yet taken-for-granted commodity, and she feels that it is paramount for society to divest from toxic and wasteful ways of generating energy. She intends to invest her own energy in the pursuit of a sustainable world.

Charlie Harris

Co Director, Life Flower
Charlie Harris

Charlie Harris is a Fresno, Ca native who has co-founded a new startup, Life Flower, LLC, a company that provides high tech and holistic solutions for plants, food, energy, waste, and water. Charlie serves as the Chairman of Mobius Co-Creations, a non-profit focused on ecosystem solutions for smarter communities. He studied architecture and the environment at UC Santa Barbara and is a certified Green Building and Sustainable Designer. Charlie has served as the intern president for the Green2Gold Incubator where he led grant writing and business planning. He also interned for the city of Fresno, in the long range planning department where he co-authored the economic and healthy communities’ working papers. Charlie has experience as an executive assistant, sales rep, and servicer. He aspires to push our economy to a more eco-friendly and resource based economy through smart architecture, recycling, farming, energy, holistic health, and social investment. Charlie also enjoys attending community events and supports anything that encompasses positive collaborations with people and our planet.

Renee Chu-Jacoby

Instructor, Craig School of Business

Renee Chu-Jacoby

Renee Chu-Jacoby, MBA, is a Social Entrepreneur, Business Strategist, and Management Instructor. In 2002, she cofounded and is principle of Jacoby Enterprises, specializing in business start-ups and consultancy. Renee is also a Business Management Lecturer/Instructor at the Craig School of Business – California State University, Fresno.  Her professional passion is in supporting organizations, purpose-oriented groups, individuals, and families in realizing their full potential. She holds special interest in assisting businesses in adopting social platforms that align with aspects of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. Her specialties include: organizational development, strategic analyses, social entrepreneurship, international business (bridging cultures between the US and

East Asia), the connection between business and social justice/human rights, and personal/professional development.

She has taken leadership roles in a variety of areas: business start-ups, for-profits, nonprofits, and the educational sector, including extensive experience in fashion-based product development & management; infant & maternal health, education, and advocacy; and coaching & consulting in accessing higher education from a holistic, alternative perspective.

Renee believes in the importance of participatory community engagement. She is currently one of two trainers for practical support volunteers in the Central California area for ACCESS—Woman’s Health Justice. She is also the founder of the Lean In, Fresno circle as well as the Lean In, Central California Chapter, a support organization focused on empowering women professionals.

Renee completed her undergraduate work with a Bachelors in Business Administration with an emphasis in Organizational Development and Leadership from Fresno Pacific University, in addition to extensive coursework in Management with a specialization in Manufacturing and Retailing for the Apparel Industry completed at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Additionally, she holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the Craig School of Business, California State University, Fresno.

 

Glen Roberts

U.S. Dept. of Commerce
Glen-Roberts

Glen’s professional experience began with 3M while attending college. Since this time, he has always worked in the international department of a firm. Glen’s experience with an international freight forwarder and logistics firm provided an exceptional perspective in the international trade arena. Letter of credits, State department licenses and hazardous materials were part of his normal routine.

Glen is currently employed by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce providing export business consulting. His current activities include exporting, economic development, training, & renewable energy and alternative fuels industry sector. He has also been recognized by the industry sector as a top leader by the International Green Industrial Hall of Fame.

In 2012, Glen recruited a high level renewable energy trade mission to Turkey. Highlights of the trip can be found here.

Mr. Roberts specialties include international finance solutions, export market research, international contract law, partner match making, and renewable energy.

 

Cody Thomas

City of Poway
Cody Thomas Pic

Cody is an aspiring city manager who holds a B.A. in public administration and is currently enrolled in San Diego State University’s Public Administration Graduate Program. During the recent drought, Cody assisted in managing the City of Poway’s water conservation program and helped the City achieve one of the highest conservation rates in the state. He currently works in Poway’s Community Services Department where he works in expanding the arts to local residents and disadvantaged populations. His goal is to combine his passion for sustainability with his passion for government and politics as he believes that government plays an integral role in protecting our environment and conserving our limited resources. Cody is currently training to specialize in local government as he believes that local governments play the most important role in preventing environmental degradation in our communities.

Bruce Jones

Hadfield Jones
bruce jones

Bruce has experience as a successful practitioner and consultant in Digital Strategy, Technical Marketing, APIs, Developer Relations Programs, Developer Relationship Management (DRM), Developer Experience(DX), Business to Developer (B2D) Marketing, Internet of Things (IoT). Covering developer initiatives in the emerging verticals of Automotive, Digital Health, 3D Scanning and Printing, Personal Robotics, IoT, Big Data, Brain Wave Recognition and Wearables. He is an executive, entrepreneur, developer, risk taker, and Developer Evangelist in mobile, app store, hardware, payments and automotive. He is an inventor (5 patents pending), Author, App Publisher, Serial Entrepreneur, Venture Capitalist (VC).
Bruce has been active in the area of climate change awareness since 2006. After seeing the movie An Inconvenient Truth, he dug into his own research. Bruce was asked to join the Climate Change Project after submitting his research on global changes. He was trained in 2007, and has given over 100 presentations on climate change. He has also been active with the Silicon Valley 350, and the Citizens Climate Lobby. Helping to move the world toward green energy, as soon as possible is his most passionate interest. Bruce cannot think of a better way to volunteer than for the optimistic positive annual recognition of those who have moved the needle towards a carbon neutral environment.

 

Molly Watson

SDSU/Brookside Interiors
Molly Watson

Molly Watson is a senior at San Diego State University studying Interior Architecture and Sustainability. Her passion for both design and nature have lead her to focus on adaptive reuse and sustainable architecture and design. She is currently studying to take the LEED Green Associate exam. Molly has noticed that when it comes to design, sustainability is often something to strive for only when it fits the aesthetic and budget of a project. She would like to see sustainability as a standard in the design world. She is very interested in tackling the issue of urban sprawl as our population continues to grow and believes the issue lies within finding a balance between the need for privacy and respecting the environment. After college, she is hoping to focus on sustainable multi-use and multi-family buildings.

Pavady Senechaleunsouk

FCC
Pavady S

Pavady is an aspiring Real Estate agent furthering her practice in Sustainable Development. Her passion for sustainability has encouraged her to seek a career in the green building industry to find common ground in both Sustainability and Real Estate. Furthermore, her ultimate goal is to open a distribution company of which provides both efficient and affordable materials for residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. Growing up in a Buddhist household, she has developed an awareness and passion for attaining a healthy and mindful lifestyle. A lifestyle that has led to her vegetarian diet and a love for exercise and nature. She also has much interest in Cultural Anthropology and classic films.