Updated: May 2014

Board of Directors

John Ackerly

John Ackerly is the Founder and President of Alliance for Green Heat, a non-profit that promotes cleaner and more efficient residential wood and pellet heating, with a strong focus on low and middle-income families. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Biomass Thermal Energy Council, the Board of Advisors of the Maryland Clean Energy Center and the Steering Committee of the Northeast Biomass Thermal Working Group. He has testified before Congress numerous times and has been a frequent commentator for the BBC, CNN and VOA. He attended Dartmouth College and American University Law School. He is an avid rock climber, outdoorsman and wood stove aficionado. He lives in Takoma Park, Maryland with his wife Nina Smith and son Sammy.

Lily Donge

Lily Donge is Knowledge Leader, Global Cleantech Center at Ernst & Young LLP. At Ernst & Young, she leads the Cleantech Center's knowledge management, working with cleantech leadership to develop content, thought leadership and communications to clients related to the firms' cleantech insights and strategy. Previously, she was Manager of environment and climate change, where she managed research and due diligence for the Calvert Social Index, the global alternative energy and water funds, and a green bond investment strategy. She has testified and briefed a range of policymakers on financing cleantech, alternative energy and climate change. She serves as a Board member of the Roberts Environmental Center, an institute that created the Pacific Sustainability Index. Prior to Calvert, she worked at the World Resources Institute, at Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette, and at WI Carr in Southeast Asia. She has an MBA from Yale School of Management, an MA in International Development Economics from Yale University, and a BA in Economics and International Relations from Claremont McKenna College. Lily's background is global -- she was born in Vietnam, raised in the Philippines, has French citizenship, but now calls Washington DC her home.

Jonathan Kays

Jonathan has an M.S. Degree in Forestry from Virginia Tech, and a B.S. Degree in Natural Resource Management from Rutgers University. His background includes county forester with the Virginia Department of Forestry, research assistant at the Institute of Ecosystem Studies in NY, High School Earth Science teacher, and forestry technician with the U. S. Forest Service in northern Idaho.

Jonathan has been with the Western Maryland Research and Education Center near Hagerstown, Maryland since 1988 as a Natural Resources Extension Specialist. He works on forest stewardship, woodland owner volunteer training, wildlife damage management for deer and voles, alternative income opportunities utilizing natural resources, and the use of biosolids to grow forest trees on gravel spoils.

His interest in wood energy was sparked by a weeklong trip to Austria in June 2008 to study Austria’s progressive wood energy program. In April 2010 he organized the Maryland Wood Energy Coalition with the Maryland DNR Forest Service to bring together representative from state agencies, industry, nonprofits and others, to determine how to increase the wood energy in Maryland. This resulted in the February 2012 release of a Prospectus on Increasing Wood Energy in Maryland. Jonathan has authored numerous extension publications and books, produces a quarterly newsletter Branching Out for Maryland forest owners, and other materials that can be found on his website.

Ben Larson

Ben Larson works on biomass at the National Wildlife Federation, promoting biomass policy and development that is compatible with wildlife and reduces atmospheric carbon. Ben also works on grasslands conservation. Ben's prior biomass consulting practice focused on creating markets and projects that give landowners management tools to care for their land. His clients include the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Restore Capital, a CT water utility, a MD-based conservation organization and the Prettyboy Watershed Alliance.

From 2006-2010, Ben worked as a renewable energy policy advocate/analyst for the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) in Washington, DC, specializing in biomass. In addition to advancing state and federal renewable energy and climate legislation, he developed consensus with forest owners, foresters, conservationists and biomass generators on sensible, cost-effective sustainability standards for biomass policy.

Ben is a native of North Dakota and Minnesota, and for ten years farmed five acres of organic produce, for farmers markets, CSAs, restaurants and grocery stores. Larson has a Master of Forestry from the Yale School of Forestry (2010).

Nick Salafsky

Nick Salafsky is Co-Director of Foundations of Success, a non-profit organization that seeks to improve the practice of conservation. FOS works with conservation practitioners around the world to define clear and practical measures of conservation success, determine sound guiding principles for using conservation strategies, and develop the knowledge and skills of individuals and organizations to do good adaptive management. Nick is also product manager for the Miradi Adaptive Management Software program

Prior to starting FOS, Nick worked for the MacArthur Foundation where he was responsible for environmental grantmaking in Asia and the Pacific. Before that, Nick worked for the Biodiversity Support Program, testing enterprise-based approaches to biodiversity conservation across the Asia/Pacific Region. Nick also spent several years in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, conducting interdisciplinary research on the forest gardens, a locally developed agroforestry system, and the behavorial ecology of the red-leaf monkey. Nick has a Ph.D in Environmental Studies and an MA in Resource Economics from Duke and an AB in Biological Anthropology from Harvard.

Jon Strimling

Jon Strimling is President and CEO of US Dynamics. US Dynamics focuses on the commercialization of innovative products and services, with a focus in renewable energy. Jon spun out of US Dynamics in 2006, and the firm continues to provide renewable heating fuels to consumers in the Northeast.

Background: Jon brings extensive background in operations and technology commercialization from prior experience at New England Wood Pellet, GE, American Industrial Partners' portfolio companies and DEKA Research and Development.

Education: Masters in Management from MIT Sloan School of Management and Masters in Mechanical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. MS, Mechanical Engineering from Northeastern University.
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