NYSEIA Announces Six New Board Directors and Formation of Diversity & Inclusion Committee
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NYSEIA Announces Six New Board Directors and Formation of Diversity & Inclusion Committee to Promote Equity and Justice in the New York Solar Industry
NEW YORK, NY, December 11, 2020—New York Solar Energy Industries Association (NYSEIA) has inducted six new members to its Board of Directors, constituting the most diverse and inclusive leadership in the organization's 26-year history. The new directors include Mariana Eizayaga, Director of Business Development at EnterSolar; Reid Garton, President and CEO of NY State Solar; William Graves, Senior Manager of Business Development at Sol Systems; Fayeann Lawrence, CEO of Sologistics; and Stephan Roundtree, Jr., Northeast Director for Vote Solar.
Arthur Perri, Jr., Director of Sales for CED Greentech Long Island, was selected as Long Island Solar & Storage Alliance liaison to the NYSEIA board, while David Schieren, CEO of EmPower Solar and current NYSEIA Vice President, was reelected to another three-year term.
These new directors, elected by the 125 member companies of the solar trade association, bring their enthusiasm and expertise to one of the fastest-growing renewable energy markets in the United States at a crucial time. The ambitious Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act requires that New York deploy nearly 4 gigawatts of additional distributed solar energy generation by 2025.
“With the addition of this new class of directors, NYSEIA’s Board has never been more dynamic or diverse, representing all segments of the solar industry and all parts of the state,” said Dan Hendrick, NYSEIA Board President. “I’m honored to lead this member-driven organization as we set an aggressive agenda for growth that will help New York meet its economic recovery and renewable energy goals.”
“I look forward to joining the board of NYSEIA and partnering with the other members who represent many facets of the solar industry,” said Mariana Eizayaga, Director of Business Development at EnterSolar. “I'm excited to combine our expertise, industry experience, and passion to help New York State achieve its notable renewable energy goals and remain a leader in sustainability.”
“I'm excited to join the board of NYSEIA and apply my extensive solar industry experience and local knowledge to advancing our industry objectives in New York,” said Reid Garton, CEO of NY State Solar. “The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act has set aggressive goals for renewables, and reaching them will require progress on many policy objectives across the renewables industry. I look forward to working with NYSEIA members and my fellow board directors on the challenges we face reaching 70 percent renewable energy by 2030.”
“Joining the NYSEIA board is a fantastic opportunity to continue the hard work being done by the state’s solar industry,” said William Graves, Senior Manager of Business Development with Sol Systems. “I look forward to working alongside my fellow board members to expand access to clean energy for all New Yorkers.”
NYSEIA Establishes Committee to Promote Equity and Justice in the New York Solar Industry
In response to the social justice movements that captivated American cities during spring and summer 2020, the NYSEIA board of directors voted this year to establish a new Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Committee to improve participation by historically underrepresented groups in the New York solar market. Co-chaired by NYSEIA Board Secretary Kathryn Chelminski (Senior Manager, New Market Development – Solar PV at Ameresco) and Stephan Roundtree, Jr., the committee will spearhead NYSEIA diversity initiatives in collaboration with NYSEIA staff, member companies, partner organizations, and external stakeholders. Inaugural JEDI committee members include Jonaliza Ceklic (Eden Renewables), Fayeann Lawrence (Sologistics), Gerard Neely (Madison Energy Investments), and Angelica Ramdhari (Solar One).
The JEDI committee’s goal is to drive significant and continuous improvement for underrepresented groups in New York’s solar workforce, as well as foster increased awareness and best practices with regard to diversity hiring, inclusive workplace practices, and equitable work culture.
NYSEIA has committed to a new policy of having at least 50 percent participation from under-represented groups on its conference panels, which the association moved to implement during a November virtual seminar on how residential solar companies have altered their business practices during the pandemic. In addition, NYSEIA now offers a permanent 50 percent discount on membership dues for Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises.
“There is no better time than now to affirm our commitment to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion, both at the organizational level, as well as with regard to New York’s solar and storage workforce at large,” said Shyam Mehta, NYSEIA Executive Director. “We are long overdue in our industry to do better in terms of minority and gender representation and inclusivity, and the formation of NYSEIA’s JEDI Committee, which is composed entirely of women and BIPOC members, is an important first step towards driving programmatic change on these fronts. Through the JEDI Committee, we look forward to working with our member firms, ally organizations and other stakeholders on actions and initiatives to advance our DEI goals over the course of 2021 and beyond.”
“A strong solar marketplace is critical for a healthy and fair economy, and for protecting the planet. I’m honored and enthusiastic to join the NYSEIA board of directors and I look forward to contributing to the institution’s leadership in the Empire State,” said Stephan Roundtree, Jr., Northeast Director for Vote Solar, NYSEIA Board Director, and NYSEIA JEDI Committee Co-Chair. “I also look forward to serving as co-chair of the NYSEIA Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Committee, and growing socially just practices within the organization and in our policy work statewide.”
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About New York Solar Energy Industries Association
Founded in 1994, New York Solar Energy Industries Association (NYSEIA) is a trade association representing over 125 solar energy firms in New York and is dedicated to advancing solar energy use and deployment across the state.
Executive Director, New York Solar Energy Industries Association
NYSEIA Board of Directors