Our staff consists of the following team members:
Terri Mickelsen has more than 25 years of credit union operations experience, including over 10 years focused on customer service via branches, phone centers, and online/mobile devices. Prior to her new role at Clean Energy Federal Credit Union, Terri served as COO and VP of Internal Operations at two credit unions, each with over $500M in assets. During her 11 years as an executive team member she was recognized for her ability to incorporate innovations that resulted in significant improvements in the quality of service and cost savings to the organization. Terri has extensive experience in electronic payments systems and is an Accredited ACH Professional (AAP). As a community member, she has over 20 years of volunteer service including United Way Community Fund Panel Chair and Quality New Mexico Examiner. Terri earned her Bachelors in Business Administration at the College of Santa Fe.
Ejaye Gilbert has over 25 years of experience in customer service, with much of that time spent in financial services roles and all of it focused on helping people. After studying business management at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she worked as a Customer Service Representative at Associated Bank, helping clients to navigate a wide variety of financial products. She then moved to Associated Trust Company, where she aided companies in managing their retirement accounts. When her first son was born, she left the banking industry to focus her energy on her family. During that time, she co-founded The Red Radish Natural Foods grocery store in Neenah, WI. The unique focus of the store, nestled in a small Wisconsin town, drew a community of individuals who cared deeply about the environment and the sources of their food and energy. It was interacting with this community that helped fuel Ejaye’s passion for the environment. She co-owned and operated her retail business until its successful sale six years later. After moving to Colorado in 2014, Ejaye began volunteering at Harvest of Hope Food Pantry, thereby combining her love for food and her desire to help the community. After a year of fulfilling volunteer work, she was hired on full-time as the Client Services and Volunteer Manager. Ejaye then joined Clean Energy Credit Union in January of 2018 where she has been thrilled to blend her customer service and environmental passions with her financial and operational skills.
Rick has more than 25 years of experience in banking and finance, in addition to 5 years of experience in delivering solar PV modules and system solutions to business. As Vice President of Retail Customer Analytics for BMO Harris Bank, he led a team that developed analytical/consulting services for internal clients to enhance deposit and loan marketing strategies. Prior to that, he developed predictive models that reduced customer acquisition costs for proprietary credit card marketers. Earlier in his career, he managed the development of financial forecasting software used to value corporate mergers and acquisitions. His experience has spanned from small boutique consulting firms to BMO Harris Bank, which has more than a million customers worldwide. Throughout his career he has been noted for his ability to bridge the common communication divide between technical and non-technical teams. Most recently, Rick has been active in several volunteer efforts to bring more renewable energy to the Colorado marketplace at the local and state level. He received an undergraduate electrical engineering degree from Vanderbilt University and a Master’s in Business Administration (Marketing and Finance) from The University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, presently known as the Booth School of Business.
Heath Norman has more than 25 years of experience in client relations, finance, and operations efficiency. Growing up in the family construction business within a small rural farming community in the Midwest, Heath learned from a young age the importance of doing more with less and of working hard for the customer. Upon moving to Denver in 1999, Heath began his banking career with Commercial Federal Bank as a Personal Banker in their Littleton Flagship Branch. From there he pushed further into the realm of financial efficiency serving as a Consultant within the trucking industry. Heath honed his skills by managing over 700 clients who owned and operated their businesses across the country. The next step for Heath was Joining the Corporate Team of Einstein Bagel Corp., as an Operations Analyst, managing the finances of 134 stores in the Southeast region of the country. Heath’s most recent position was with one of Denver’s largest automotive groups serving as a Marketing Analyst planning, executing and managing a multi-million-dollar marketing budget. On top of being an avid outdoorsman, Heath is also an active volunteer within the Multiple Sclerosis community, both in Colorado and globally, through support groups, writing, and personal experiences.
Our volunteer board of directors is comprised of the following seven credit union members:
Michelle Greenfield is the co-owner and CEO of Third Sun Solar, LLC, a solar power developer and contractor working in Ohio and throughout the Midwest. Founded in 2000, Third Sun has sold and installed over 400 clean energy systems for residences, businesses, and institutions. Third Sun Solar has the distinction of being an “Inc. 500/5000” fastest growing private company for 5 years in a row, as well as a certified B-Corp with a commitment to not just profit, but also to the planet, employees, and the community. Prior to her ownership of Third Sun, as a VISTA volunteer in 1994, Michelle led a successful community-wide organizing effort to charter the Appalachian Development FCU (ADFCU), a Federal community development credit union (CDCU) which served the low-income community of Southeastern Ohio. She authored the ADFCU’s business plan and spearheaded fundraising efforts which yielded over $1M in investment deposits and over $300k in operating, programming, and equity grants. After the successful charter, Michelle served as the ADFCU’s Manager and then on the Board of Directors. Concurrent to her work with the ADFCU, Michelle also worked with several small business development and finance non-profits in Athens County. In these roles, she set up and managed a “mini” loan fund as well as other loan pools and provided underwriting for microenterprise loans to low-income entrepreneurs. These positions helped her gain valuable experience helping businesses determine capital needs, helping business gain access to capital sources, and working with the SBA Micro-lending and other government based lending pools. Michelle has served on several Boards of directors, including Green Energy Ohio (GEO), the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce, the Appalachian People’s Action Coalition, and the ADFCU (mentioned above). Michelle has also taught a Small Business Management class at the local community college, Colorado Mountain College. Michelle has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Miami University and a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from Ohio University with a focus on Economic Development.
For the past twenty years, Dan Kester has served as the President of Sooper Credit Union, headquartered in Arvada, CO. Prior to that, he was the President of VAR (now Foothills) Credit Union for six years. Dan recently stepped down from the Credit Union Service Network Board of Managers, as well as the Mountain West Credit Union Association (MWCUA) Board of Directors. Until 2016, he served on the CUNA Governmental Affairs Committee. He is the Vice-Chairman of the boards of CUProdigy and HomeCU. Dan previously served on the CUNA State sub-committee for ten years, was on the Governmental Affairs Committee of the Credit Union Association of Colorado (serving as Chairman for four years), and was Secretary of the NASCUS Advisory Council and on the Board of Managers for the Credit Union Indirect Lending Association. His service within the credit union movement also includes eight years on the Colorado Credit Union League Board of Directors, as well as an additional six years of previous involvement on the CUSN Board of Managers.
In 2009, Governor Bill Ritter appointed Dan to the Colorado Division of Racing Events Commission and he was confirmed by the Colorado Senate in 2010. He served until 2013. He was recognized with the Dan Kester Award for political and legislative activity by the Credit Union Association of Colorado in 2007. Dan was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the MWCUA in 2014 and was inducted into the Credit Union House Hall of Leaders in 2015. His educational efforts resulted in a BA in Economics from the University of Colorado. He is a native of Colorado and has two children.
Blake Jones is a Co-Founder of Namasté Solar, an employee-owned cooperative and certified B-Corp based in Colorado. He began his career in 1996 working as a civil engineer for Halliburton in the oil and gas industry. He then spent three years in Nepal implementing solar, wind, hydro, and electric vehicle technologies. In late 2004, he returned to the USA to co-found Namasté Solar which has installed over 5,000 solar electric systems totaling over 75 MW of generating capacity. Due to its unique business model, Namasté Solar has earned widespread recognition including a “Best for the World” designation from B Corporation (2012-2014), a “Most Democratic Workplace” award from Worldblu (2010-2014), a “Best Place to Work” award from Outside Magazine (2013), a “Top Small Company Workplace” award from Winning Workplaces (2011), and a #56 ranking on the “Inc. 500” (2009). In February of 2009, Blake had the honor of introducing President Barack Obama in Denver before he signed the historic $787 billion stimulus bill. Blake has served on several Boards including the Amicus Solar Cooperative (2011-present), the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association (2006-2008), and the City of Boulder’s Climate Action Plan Advisory Group (2008-2009). Blake is an Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” award recipient (2010) and has a BE in Civil Engineering from Vanderbilt University.
Tom Teynor is the COO of Ascent360, a cloud based customer data platform, and most recently, he was the CEO of Coolerado, a green technology company founded in 2004. Coolerado designs, manufactures and markets super-energy-efficient air conditioning systems for light commercial use, based on its proprietary, patented and proven technology. Tom joined Coolerado in 2011, and was responsible for the overall strategic direction and long-term growth. He brings almost 20 years of experience growing businesses in the software, financial services, and internet services industries. Tom held senior leadership positions at Wolters Kluwer Financial Services, Pitney Bowes, and Wells Fargo Bank. He also serves on the boards of the Colorado Cleantech Industries Association and TopLine Federal Credit Union as the Vice Chairman and Chair of the finance committee, respectively. Tom received both his Bachelor of Business Administration and MBA degrees from the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.
Brad Blackwell has over 30 years of bank industry experience. Before recently retiring, Brad was an Executive Vice President at Wells Fargo Home Lending (WFHL). In this role, Brad was responsible for leading a number of teams that focus on advancing homeownership through the development of housing policy and strategies to implement and promote products and programs that fill gaps, at-scale, for customers and communities with specialized mortgage needs across the economic spectrum. Prior to this, Brad led the Portfolio Lending group for WFHL to build industry leading portfolio capabilities by championing home equity products across the enterprise while also expanding Wells Fargo non-agency (jumbo) lending programs. Previously, he spent more than a decade as Executive Vice President of WFHL and jointly led the nation’s #1 retail mortgage production team. He was responsible for a distributed retail sales team of approximately 10,500 home mortgage consultants who originated residential mortgage loans in more than 2,400 mortgage stores nationwide. Brad was named to the post in 2004 after serving three years as a Senior Vice President for WFHL’s Pacific Markets where he led efforts that doubled Wells Fargo’s retail share on the West Coast. Prior to joining Wells Fargo in 2001, Brad was Senior Vice President for residential lending at Washington Mutual for three years and a Loan Consultant and Regional Manager for 17 years with World Savings. He also managed mortgage marketing, product development, sales planning, and retail banking organizations for World Savings. Brad earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Colorado-Boulder in 1982. He is passionate about environmental stewardship and charitable giving, and he is excited about the potential opportunity to help Clean Energy Credit Union pursue its mission and scale its positive environmental impact.
Paul Melamed has over thirty years’ experience with solar energy. He was the founder and President of High Country Sun, Inc. one of Colorado’s first solar contracting companies (1976-1979). In 1979 he merged with Novan Energy, Inc., a Boulder company that became one of the largest U.S. manufactures of solar thermal systems. He was part of the executive team that took the company from start up through IPO and seven years of continuous growth, until the expiration of the solar energy tax credits in 1986. Initially, as General Manager/V.P., he was responsible for setting up one of the largest solar distribution companies in the western U.S. Then as V.P. of Operations, he successfully transformed the procurement, manufacturing and logistics operations into efficient profit-generating organizations. His experiences as V.P. of Operations for Novan lead to his career in high tech and software businesses focused on operations and business management. Paul returned to the solar industry in 2005. From 2005-2007, as Director of Real Goods Solar, he created one of the largest Solar PV design and sales companies in Colorado. After retiring from Real Goods Solar, Paul formed VisionSun Design, LLC, a solar energy-consulting firm whose sole focus was to work with housing authorities to help bring solar energy to low-income affordable housing. He guided Boulder Housing Partners (the Housing Authority for Boulder, CO) in their procurement and installation of 600kW of solar PV systems. Paul is also one of the first off-the-grid solar and wind system users in the country (1980) and still uses the system today. In March 2009, Paul was elected to the Board of Directors of CoSEIA (Colorado Solar Energy Industry Association) for a one year term. In 2013, Paul was elected to the Board of Directors of GRID Alternatives Colorado, a non-profit organization bringing solar PV to low income home owners. He also serves as the chair of GRID Alternatives Advocacy Committee. Paul served on the Boulder Solar Advisory Committee in 2014.
Dan Yechout has over eight years of experience in selling residential solar PV systems. As a Co-Owner of Namaste Solar, he started as a Residential Salesperson and ended his career as the Residential Sales Director. In this role, among other responsibilities, Dan worked with multiple solar financing companies to evaluate, negotiate, and implement partnerships whereby Namaste Solar could offer residential lease and loan products to its residential solar PV customers. Immediately prior to joining Namaste Solar, Dan served as Operations Manager for RentClicks.com, a successful real estate website company. He was the company’s first non-partner employee and helped grow the business to #1 in its market as the most heavily trafficked website for small unit rental properties in the nation after just 1.5 years. Dan also has seven years of experience in the semiconductor industry at Atmel Corporation where he founded and managed an integrated circuit design center in Camberley, England. Dan earned his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Colorado State University, is a graduate of Solar Energy International, and was previously certified in solar PV installation by NABCEP and CoSEIA.
Our volunteer supervisory committee is comprised of the following three credit union members:
Amanda Kobza is the Vice President of Finance at Sooper Credit Union where she oversees the accounting, finance, and enterprise risk management functions. Her responsibilities include the credit union’s asset liability management, budgeting, strategic planning, and investment portfolio. Prior to joining Sooper Credit Union, Amanda worked at several credit unions ranging in size from $40M to $1B in assets. She earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Accounting and Finance from Missouri Valley College.
Jennifer Meyers has over 20 years of finance experience spanning a variety of industries including telecommunications, venture capital, real estate, and credit unions. She began her career as a credit union auditor with a local public accounting firm in Denver, Colorado, then moved into private industry working in both publicly and privately held firms. In 2007, she joined Westerra Credit Union where she is currently the Chief Financial Officer. In this role she oversees accounting, finance, and enterprise risk management/compliance, which includes responsibilities for the credit union’s investment portfolio, asset liability management activities, budgeting and strategic planning. Jennifer received a Bachelor of Science and a Masters of Accountancy from the University of Denver. She is a Certified Public Accountant, and a member of both the American Institute of CPAs and the Colorado Society of CPAs.
Amanda has worked in the solar industry since 2003, first promoting renewable energy policy in Austin, TX while at Public Citizen, then at Meridian Energy Systems, before joining at Namasté Solar in 2006. Amanda worked Namasté Solar for over 11 years and held numerous roles ranging from business administration to human resources to sales & design. When she departed in 2017, Amanda served as the Director of Strategic Planning and Initiatives, devoting her energy to strategic planning and special projects that benefit the company and its customers. Amanda is now the CEO of a newly formed cooperative, Amicus O&M Cooperative, which has an overlapping membership with Amicus Solar Cooperative but is a separate legal entity. Amicus O&M Cooperative brings together a network of independent solar companies across the U.S. to provide operations and maintenance (O&M) services for geographically distributed solar PV portfolios. Amanda obtained a BA in English and French from the University of Texas at Austin.
As Clean Energy Credit Union grows, we anticipate new roles for both volunteers and employees. If you have experience in credit unions, banking, and/or clean energy and would like to get more involved, please reach out to us via our contact form. We forecast that we’ll need help with lending, accounting, asset liability management, marketing, and member engagement (e.g. newsletters, customer service, etc.). We’ll also need help identifying new potential partners, particularly like-minded car dealerships and energy efficiency contractors. Click here to learn more about our partners.