Our Team

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Sarah Wright, MSPH

Sarah is the executive director and founder of Utah Clean Energy, the organization managing the Four Corners Wind Resource Center.  Sarah has a proven record of accomplishment in the promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency and has effectively fostered diverse partnerships with state agencies, municipal governments, industry, agricultural groups and community groups to advance clean energy solutions. She is an intervener in regulatory proceedings effecting clean energy development. Sarah brings over fifteen years of experience with the Utah industry, where she served as an environmental consultant providing occupational health and ambient air quality permitting services prior to founding Utah Clean Energy in 2001. Sarah holds a B.S. in Geology from Bradley University, and an M.S. in Public Health from the University of Utah.

 

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Rebecca Nelson, MPA

Rebecca oversees the contract negotiation, grant management, program reporting, and financial tracking for the Four Corners Wind Resource Center and Utah Clean Energy. She also manages the financial, fundraising, human resource, and administrative functions of the organizations.  Rebecca brings over ten years of nonprofit management experience to the organization, previously serving as Associate Director for the Utah Health & Human Rights Project and Manager of Ten Thousand Villages, Utah. She holds a Masters in Public Administration and a B.A. from the University of Utah.

 

 

sophie-hayes.jpgSophie Hayes, Esq.

Sophie represents the Four Corners Wind Resource Center and Utah Clean Energy in the organizations’ regulatory activities in Utah. She is involved in the 4CWRC’s work before the Public Service Commission on open regulatory dockets dealing with pricing, integration, and development of wind energy in Utah. Sophie has an honors B.A. in anthropology and a Juris Doctorate from Brigham Young University. Sophie was a lead editor for the BYU Law Review and on the board of the Natural Resources Law Society. During law school, she clerked for the Department of the Interior's Office of the Solicitor as well as Utah's Property Rights Ombudsman. This is all in addition to baking a lot of "healthy" cookies and enforcing a rigorous schedule of walks with her dog. After law school, Sophie fellowed with the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (and continued to spend her free time baking and walking her dog). Sophie's favorite activities include hiking, canoeing, reading cookbooks, and spending time with her dog, Hobo.

 

    Liam Harry

Liam is the newest addition to the Four Corners Wind Resource Center and Utah Clean Energy team as a member of the Utah Conservation Corps through AmeriCorps. He assists with outreach and project coordination tasks. Liam is from Boise, Idaho and received a B.S. in Economics from Westminster College in Salt Lake City. He has also spent time abroad in the Netherlands, studying Economics and Law and worked as a Wildland Firefighter for the Utah Dept. of Natural Resources. He enjoys playing soccer and spending time in the outdoors skiing, backpacking and camping and works to preserve the outdoors for future generations to experience.

 

sarah-propst.jpgSarah Cottrell Propst, MPA

Sarah is the Executive Director of the Interwest Energy Alliance, a partner in the Four Corners Wind Resource Center. Interwest is a non-profit trade association that represents the nation’s leading companies in the renewable energy industry, bringing them together with nongovernmental organizations in the West. Interwest engages in policy, regulatory, and legislative activities in six Western states: Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. Prior to joining Interwest, Sarah founded Propst Consulting, LLC, a firm specializing in energy and environmental policy. She served as the Deputy Cabinet Secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department in 2010, and the Energy & Environmental Policy Advisor to New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson from 2006 until 2010. She has worked as a Research Fellow for the Pew Center on Global Climate Change in Arlington, VA.  Sarah graduated magna cum laude with Honors in Political Science from Davidson College, and earned a Master of Public Affairs from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs with a concentration in Science, Technology & Environmental Policy.

 

amanda-ormond.jpgAmanda Ormond

Representing Interwest Energy Alliance and the Four Corners Wind Resource Center, Amanda is working to educate policymakers and stakeholders on wind energy.  Amanda is a policy expert who works to bring a long-term, broad perspective to policy development.   Amanda has worked in energy and public policy for over twenty five years in Arizona and the West.  For the past thirteen years she has managed the Ormond Group LLC, a consulting firm that specializes in advocacy and lobbying for clean energy.  For her public and private-sector clients she strives to identify and implement collaborative solutions to develop the West’s vast renewable energy resources and the transmission to bring these resources to market; while protecting its magnificent landscapes and wildlife.  From 1995-2001 Amanda served as Director of the Arizona Energy Office where she was responsible for developing state policy and promoting energy efficiency, renewable energy and alternative fueled vehicles. 

 

 

lisa-hickey.jpgLisa Tormoen Hickey, Esq.

Lisa represents the Interwest Energy Alliance in regulatory proceedings throughout the Intermountain West region, including proceedings associated with the Four Corners Wind Resource Center. She is a member of the Alpern Myers Stuart, LLC law firm based in Colorado Springs, CO. Lisa applies state regulatory policy analysis with her understanding of complex commercial transactions in order to advance renewable development. Lisa’s regulatory work includes education about wind and other renewable energy integration and benefits for utilities, commercial interests, and electricity consumers. In 2011, she was appointed by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper to serve on the state’s Transmission Siting Task Force to represent renewable energy interests. Lisa earned a B.A. in Economics from the Colorado College and J.D. from the University of Colorado at Boulder. 

 

karin-wadsack.jpgKarin Wadsack, M.M.C., M.S.

Karin leads Northern Arizona University’s engagement in the Four Corners Wind Resource Center, directing activities with county-level decisionmakers across the region. At Northern Arizona University (NAU), Karin serves as project director for the Institute for Sustainable Energy Solutions, managing a number of research and outreach initiatives. Her primary focus is on renewable energy policy analysis and development, at the local, state, tribal and federal level. She is also a technical expert for Northern Arizona University’s Tribal Clean Energy Resource Center. Previous projects she led include the NAU Collegiate Wind Competition Team and the Arizona Wind for Schools initiative. For that project, she was recognized in 2012 by the U.S. Department of Energy as Young Wind Advocate of the Year. She has more than 10 years of experience in renewable energy, climate change and environmental policy as well as international development, business and project management.

Outside the university, she has served on a number of technical and stakeholder groups that focused on energy utilization or renewable energy development in the region. Previously, Karin taught construction and managed rainwater harvesting projects as a United States Peace Corps volunteer in Bolivia and also worked in system design for a solar and wind installation company in Ohio.

She holds a B.A. in Government from the College of William and Mary in Virginia, an M.M.C. in Mass Communication from Arizona State University, and an M.S. in Environmental Sciences and Policy from Northern Arizona University.

In her free time she enjoys mountain biking, rock climbing, snowboarding, hunting and fishing, and camping with her dogs.

 

tom-acker.jpgTom Acker, Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Tom’s role in the Four Corners Wind Resource Center is to supply technical expertise related to wind energy resources and power generation, and integration of wind power on the utility grid.  Specifically, he will work with stakeholders and utilities engaged in the resource center to address evolving issues related to grid integration. Dr. Acker holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Colorado State University, and has been on the faculty at NAU since 1996.  His duties include serving as Director of NAU’s Institute for Sustainable Energy Solutions, and he teaches and performs research related to thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, energy systems, and renewable energy. During 2003-04 he was a sabbatical researcher at the National Wind Technology Center of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Colorado, focused on grid integration issues related to wind and hydropower resources, as well as region-wide transmission planning. He previously spent three months in 1997 on a faculty fellowship to the National Wind Technology Center studying wind turbine aerodynamics. Acting on behalf NREL, he was the “Operating Agent” in charge of leading an international effort to study wind and hydropower integration for the International Energy Agency from 2004-2010. His recent research activities include wind power grid integration, solar power variability and grid integration, wind flow modeling via meso-scale and micro-scale (CFD) methods, wind assessment, water/energy projects, Native American applications of renewable energy, and renewable liquid fuels.

 

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Fletcher Wilkinson, M.S.

In his role at Four Corners Wind Resource Center, Fletcher engages stakeholders and decision-makers at the county level to support their wind energy policy and planning efforts. Fletcher holds a B.S. in Environmental Studies and an M.S. in Climate Science and Solutions from Northern Arizona University, and has experience with climate and energy policy at the local, state, tribal, and federal levels. He previously worked to support clean energy legislation for a regional non-profit in Washington State and drafted federal renewable energy legislation as the Climate and Energy Fellow in the office of U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva. Fletcher is passionate about renewable energy and climate change mitigation.