Hello, ASES Members!

by Carly Rixham

carly-rGreetings, ASES community! I am honored and humbled to become executive director at the American Solar Energy Society. I have some very big shoes to fill as Seth Masia steps down from that role. He is a passionate, dedicated and inspired leader and we are most fortunate to retain him as editor of SOLAR TODAY. I’m so excited to take ASES to the next level as I work with Seth and the board of directors.

Most recently I’ve worked as a microbiologist at BioVantage Resources, cultivating algae for bioremediation of nutrients in wastewater. I received my master’s degree in ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado Boulder, where I researched microalgae for the production of biodiesel and bioethanol.

While studying in Boulder, I served as director of arts and sciences for CU Energy, where I recruited student involvement for events such as the Energy Frontiers conference. I have also taught biology and ecology at the university and high school levels. Before my renewable energy career, I worked in software development and customer support at Intuit.

I have served as a volunteer on several ASES membership and fundraising projects, establishing a close relationship with the staff and execytive committee. I am passionate about nonprofit organizational development, and plan to take ASES into the next generation, reaffirming the organization’s role as a leader in the renewable energy community.

As solar energy gains success in the marketplace, I am interested in pushing the solar agenda on a grassroots level. Dedicated to connecting science with the greater community of solar advocates, I am eager to support local chapters to help get real people involved in solar. I envision a stronger connection with universities, as a way to recruit a new generation of professionals in renewable energy.

Today’s youth may seem impatient. We want our web pages to load in the blink of an eye and our text messages to be instantaneous. But that positions us in a very exciting time for renewables. Students and young professionals show the optimism we need for the future. This is an inspired generation of activists, artists, innovators and entrepreneurs.

Young people embody the vitality and enthusiasm that are the keys to economic growth. And guess what? We’ve outgrown the need for fossil- powered speed. We want technology that enables clean simple living.

Young earth guardians are not fooled by big oil and gas. We’re witness to peak oil. We know it’s time for a 100 percent renewable energy economy.

At ASES we’ve launched exciting projects to engage young people. Our affiliation with Penn State University and other ASES student chapters paves the way towards networking student groups with the renewable energy community. The movement is well on its way; we have a coherent vision, strong leaders emerging and a cause worth living for.

We live in a crucial time. We have real opportunities to unite our efforts in making this world a better place. It’s all about the people; it starts at the local level by listening to the needs of our members and chapters. I am extremely dedicated to ASES’ mission in speeding the transition to a sustainable energy economy. I look forward to meeting you personally at the SOLAR 2014 conference — July 6-10 in San Francisco. Please take the time to introduce yourself personally or send me a note at crixham@ases.org. I would love to hear how ASES can be of service to you and your community!