Board of Directors

Elaine Hebert, Chair

Northern California Solar Energy Association
Berkeley, California

Elaine Hebert is a retired energy efficiency and green and sustainability expert from the California Energy Commission. For most of the years since 1983, she has been involved with a chapter or subchapter of ASES on either the East Coast or the West Coast; she served as President of the Urban Solar Energy Association in Boston and years later as President of the Northern California Solar Energy Association in Berkeley. She is an ASES Fellow and a recipient of ASES’s Rebecca Vories Award. She is an avid hiker and bicyclist, and in 2014 rode in the California Climate Ride – 250 miles in 4 days – to raise money for organizations working on climate issues. She took an unusual path to a college degree, starting out at Swarthmore College, taking an extended leave of absence, taking classes at Harvard University’s evening division, then finishing a BS in Resource Science from the University of California at Davis.

paulette_middletonPaulette Middleton, Chair

Owner, Panorama Pathways
Boulder, CO

I am a strong advocate for the rapid transformation of the global energy system to renewable energy for all, used wisely and efficiently. Working closely as an ASES and its international partner ISES, is an excellent way to contribute to the transformation. During my 40-year career as an atmospheric chemist specializing in assessments that bring science to support appropriate decision making related to energy and the environment, I have come to deeply appreciate the need for this transformation.

I hope to effectively use my expertise in research/analyses, program development, and communications/marketing to advance the work of ASES. My professional experience includes leadership positions at University of Texas (PhD Chemistry 1973), National Center for Atmospheric Research, Atmospheric Sciences Research Center at the State University of New York at Albany, Science & Policy Associates, Inc., and RAND. Ongoing activities include Global Emissions IniAtive (GEIA) ( coordinator since 1991 and science-based environment/energy advisor to a wide variety of public and private, and stakeholder consortium clients since 2002 through my company Panorama Pathways ( In addition to being Co-Chair of the American Solar Energy Society Board of Directors, I am Secretary of the International Solar Energy Society Board.

Lucas Dixon, Vice Chair

Project Manager, Plug Smart
Columbus, Ohio

Lucas Dixon is a passionate energy guy! Mr. Dixon has had the opportunity to participate in multiple exciting projects and organizations during his young career, including being a Board Member of Green Energy Ohio, Co-founder of the 2009 OSU Solar Decathlon team, adviser for the 2011 OSU Solar Decathlon Team, Founding Co-Adviser of the OSU ASES Chapter that has since completed two solar projects in Haiti. Lucas also serves as the Chair of the Sustainable Transportation Division of ASES. Lucas is Chief of Strategy and a Project Manager at the mid-west’s most innovative energy efficiency firm Plug Smart.

Adam Plesniak, Treasureradam_plesniak

Managing Director, OC Renewables 
Orange County, CA


Adam Plesniak has been the Managing Director of OC Renewables (, the Orange County, CA Chapter of ASES since 2012.  Adam received a MS in Electrical Engineering from Stanford and has worked as a consultant, entrepreneur, product development engineer and technical team builder since 2005.  Notable accomplishments include acting as lead designer on the Boeing XR700 solar generator project, leading a team at Amonix to set a world record for PV module efficiency in 2013 and leading a team in Arzon Solar to install the first utility scale solar array in a US National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, in 2015.


james_morelyJames Morley, Secretary

Solar Operations Engineer, WindLogics
Juno Beach, FL

James Morley is a Solar Operations Engineer at WindLogics.  James is passionate about solar radiation processes and solar energy production.  His experience includes research and field work across university, government and private sector settings. James is very interested in the areas of: solar monitoring instrumentation, data mining, grid impacts from high levels of solar photovoltaic (PV) generation, PV operational performance monitoring and solar resource assessment.

James has also served as a technical expert for the International Energy Agency Task 36 working group on solar resource knowledge management. Most recently, he has been developing analytics and software for operational performance assessment at PV plants. This work is acting to reduce the LCOE from solar PV by reducing operations and maintenance costs. His academic background includes a B. Sc. and M. Sc. in physical geography from the University of Regina and Simon Fraser University respectively. The general theme of his formal education has been meteorology and climatology; with specific focus on measurement and modeling of solar radiation.

David Panich

David Panich

Owner, Panich Architecture
Framingham, MA

David Panich is a registered architect and has been designing energy efficient buildings incorporating active and passive solar energy and sustainable building strategies for over 35 years. He practices in the Boston, MA area, is a member of the American Institute of Architects and a LEED accredited professional.

David has been a member of ASES since 1976. In addition to serving on the ASES Board of Directors he is currently the chair of the ASES Solar Buildings Division, is past-chair of the ASES Sustainability Division and has worked to help organize multiple ASES Solar conferences.  He also served as Chair of the 38th National Passive Conference, at SOLAR 2013 in Baltimore, MD.

billSpratleyBill Spratley

Executive Director, Green Energy Ohio
Columbus, Ohio

Bill has led GEO since 2001 and is based in Columbus. In May 2012, he received the prestigious Charles Greeley Abbot Award from the American Solar Energy Society (ASES), the National Green Power Leadership Award from the Center for Resource Solutions in 2007 and the Wind Advocacy Award in 2006 from the US Wind Powering America Program of the US Department of Energy. An attorney since 1973, Bill was President of William A. Spratley & Associates Inc., a consulting firm with public interest clients starting in1 993. He headed the PhotoVoltaics4You National Consumer Project to assist state utility consumer advocates in understanding solar electric issues. As the State of Ohio’s first Consumers’ Counsel, 1977-1993, Bill was founding President of the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates (NASUCA). He served on US Department of Energy advisory boards under Presidents Carter, Bush and Clinton. A College of Wooster graduate, Bill’s J.D. is from Ohio State University’s College of Law.

Rachana Vidhi

Power Generation Engineer, NextEra Energy Resources
Tampa, Florida

Rachana Vidhi is a Power Generation Engineer at NextEra Energy Resources. She is the founder of the first student chapter of the International Solar Energy Society at the University of South Florida, serves on the Young ISES committee to promote international relations for global development of the solar industry and has organized the 2014 ASES Solar Tour in Tampa. She plans to work towards increasing participation of emerging professionals in ASES.

Laura Burrington

Managing Director, Minnesota Renewable Energy Society
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Laura Burrington has been the Managing Director of the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society since 2009. Laura received her Bachelors in Political Science and Sustainable Studies from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked for a solar leasing company and is attending the Humphrey Institute for her Masters in Public Affairs.

John Essig American Solar Energy SocietyJohn Essig

Director, U.S. Energy Institute

With nearly three decades of experience as a research and development engineer, John is currently working to develop cost-favorable zero-net-energy buildings, carbon-neutral transportation systems, and fully sustainable communities. In his current role as Director of the U.S. Energy Institute (, John is also exploring ways to maximize both individual and national energy security through the broad application of finely distributed renewable energy systems coupled with distributed storage, aggressive demand management, and smart microgrids. Realizing that the future of Planet Earth depends on much more than technology alone, John also endeavors to engage in policy review and formulation at various levels of government including local, state, national, and intergovernmental.

Prior to his current work, John led efforts as a social entrepreneur to develop highly portable, multi-purpose, solar energy harnessing systems designed to support a broad range of activities including, among others, global rapid-response disaster relief, health and education programs within the developing world, remote field work, and numerous recreational activities. John’s early professional work focused on the research and development of high-performance aerospace propulsion systems for United Technologies’ Pratt & Whitney Aircraft division, as well as high-efficiency, low-emission, ground-based gas turbines for Caterpillar’s Solar Turbines group.

John holds a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Virginia’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, and is also a practicing Certified Passive House Consultant™. Beyond his professional life, John is an avid explorer. Whether by land, air or sea, John is always seeking to gain a better understanding of the true nature of our shared world, the beautifully diverse nature of humanity, and the many complex interrelationships between the two.

John strongly believes that by openly sharing our respective knowledge and experience, we can work together to ultimately create a more peaceful, prosperous, equitable — and sustainable — world for all.




FdWinterFrancis de Winter, Vice-Chair

Retired aerospace engineer; independent engineering consultant
Soquel, California

Francis De Winter was born in the Netherlands, lived there during a harsh WW 2, finished grammar and high school in Argentina, learned English and Spanish in Argentina, and got three mechanical engineering degrees at MIT. He was the Chair of the ASES Board in 1978, 1982, 1984, and 1985, was on the ISES Board repeatedly, and was the Technical Program Chair of the ISES conference held in New Delhi in 1978. He has worked in solar swimming pool and water heating for many years, was the originator of the heat exchanger factor in solar water heating, and published many papers.

He is divorced, has two successful sons, three grandsons and one granddaughter, and enjoys all of them greatly. He likes cooking and sailing, and has an interest in history. He has many cookbooks and history books, and has sailed his latest boat off the west coast everywhere between Seattle in Washington and La Paz in Mexico.

JBrownsonJeffrey Brownson

Associate Professor of Energy and Mineral Engineering, Penn State University
State College, Pennsylvania
Dr. Jeffrey Brownson is the program lead for the Solar Option within the intercollege Masters of Professional Studies in Renewable Energy and Sustainability Systems at Penn State. He has served the ASES Board for the past year, representing the interests and voice of students and faculty from the academic sector, and advocating the critical importance of our young professionals in the health and future of the ASES organization. He is also an active member of ISES. Dr. Brownson was the lead organizer for the inaugural “Young Professionals in Renewable Energy Conference”, held concurrently with the National Solar Conference in Baltimore, MD, May of 2013.

Dr. Brownson’s research is focused on solar resource assessment and systems performance in photovoltaics and buildings. He also participates in research for the DoE SunShot Initiative for Solar Forecasting, led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and the DoE Energy Efficient Buildings Hub, led by Penn State at the Philadelphia Naval Yard. Dr. Brownson also served as the faculty lead for the Penn State team in the 2009 Solar Decathlon, held in Washington, DC.


Jeffrey Peterson

Program Manager, Energy Resources, New York State Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA)
Albany, New York

Jeff Peterson is the Program Manager for Energy Resources at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. At NYSERDA he is responsible for the design and implementation of creative private and public sector partnerships that link research and development activities to the commercial deployment of clean and renewable energy technologies. In addition, Jeff is active in national and international activities involving the promotion of renewable energy. Recent examples include serving as a member of the National Academy of Engineering Committee on U.S.- Chinese Cooperation on Electricity from Renewable Resources and as a member of the National Research Council Panel on Electricity from Renewables. The report from that panel is part of The National Academies comprehensive assessment of America’s Energy Future. Jeff has also recently joined the board of the US Off-Shore Wind Collaborative. He received a BS/MS from the University of Massachusetts and a MS in Industrial Administration from Union College.

alison-masonAlison Mason

Director of Marketing, SkyFuel, Inc.
Arvada, CO

Alison is Director of Marketing for SkyFuel, a manufacturer of advanced parabolic trough technology. Alison earned her Master’s degree in Solar Thermal Engineering at Colorado State University.  She has worked in passive solar, solar thermal, and photovoltaics as researcher, advocate, educator, designer, and installer.

Alison was recognized in 2004 by the American Solar Energy Society with the first ever “Women in Solar Energy” (WISE) award and her work has been featured by the Worldwatch Institute Journal and CNN International. Alison has been an ASES member since 2002, and is an ASES Fellow and Chair of the ASES Concentrating Solar Power Division.

DavidHillDavid G. Hill, Ex-Chair

Managing Consultant, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation
Burlingon, Vermont

David Hill is a Managing Consultant for Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC). He has more than 18 years of experience as a policy and program design advisor for renewable energy (RE) and energy-efficiency (EE) initiatives at the national and state level. David is responsible for senior-level management and leadership of projects involving the design, delivery and evaluation of EE and RE measures, programs and policies. He frequently leads major consulting assignments, and has played a pivotal role in coordination and negotiations to help multiple parties work collaboratively on efficiency and renewable initiatives.

David has been an active ASES member and annual conference participant since 1998, and has been a member of the ASES Board since 2008. He resides in Charlotte, Vermont.

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