Brennan Gilmore is a native of Lexington, Virginia and a graduate of the University of Virginia. Following fifteen years in the U.S. Foreign Service focused on human rights, humanitarian affairs and conflict resolution in Africa and the Middle East, he served as Chief of Staff to former Congressman and Virginia gubernatorial candidate Tom Perriello. Mr. Gilmore also served as Vice President for Operations for Wize Solutions, a Virginian rural workforce development enterprise. He leads the New Appalachian music group Wild Common.
A North Carolina to Virginia transplant via D.C., Cassady has spent over a decade engaging audiences about energy, climate change, and civic engagement. After earning an M.A. from Georgetown University and publishing research about public perceptions of complex technologies, Cassady worked for Greenpeace USA where she developed strategies for communicating about climate impacts, the influence of the oil and gas industry on our democracy, and the energy footprint from the internet. An expert in rapid response communications, Cassady’s quotes have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Associated Press. She lives in Charlottesville with her husband and daughter.
Laura Gonzalez moved to Charlottesville in 2018 to pursue her master’s degree in Public Policy at the University of Virginia. She was part of the U.S Department of Energy summer internship program, where she worked in fuel cells and hydrogen technologies implementation. For her graduation project, Laura worked with the Energy Office of South Carolina, studying options to increase access to clean energy for low to moderate-income communities. She has previously worked in Net-Neutrality policy and online privacy topics in Colombia.
Diana loves telling stories about the human experience. She’s the founder of Williams Multimedia, a production company specializing in audio storytelling. Her reporting has focused on histories of people of color, LGBTQ+ people and the intersections where those two communities meet. Diana holds an MA in journalism and public affairs from American University. Diana and her husband Clarence have lived with their two sons in the Shenandoah Valley since 1997. She is on the Board of Directors for the Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge and the Virginia School Boards Association. She is also Vice Chair of the Waynesboro School Board.
Kendl has spent several years working with diverse organizations and stakeholders to spearhead grassroots energy policy reform and environmental justice efforts. While living in Tennessee, she worked with Tennessee Conservation Voters to coordinate environmental protection campaigns during the state’s legislative sessions and election cycles. Prior to this, she co-founded and directed a coalition dedicated to transitioning the University of Wisconsin – Madison to 100% clean energy. Kendl holds an M.Ed. in Community Development and Action from Vanderbilt University, where she conducted research on community building and equity in nonprofit spaces.
Abby recently returned to Charlottesville (UVA ’05) after living in Chicago and Washington, DC. A relationship-builder by profession – and choice – Abby spent 11 years as a fundraiser before running a small business. She brings a financial and organizational knowledge along with a passion for environmental sustainability to her role at Clean Virginia. Around Charlottesville, you can find Abby strolling with her daughter, husband, and beloved rescue dog – or in her garden.
Michael Bills is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Bluestem Asset Management LLC, based in Charlottesville, Virginia. Formerly, he was Chief Investment Officer of UVA’s endowment. Mr. Bills is a visiting scholar at the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia where he teaches finance with an emphasis on investing, corporate governance, and the role of ethics in competitive work environments. In 1992, he cofounded the Sorensen Institute of Political Leadership, a bipartisan organization educating future political leaders on responsible and ethical governance. He is also a co-founder of Charlottesville Tomorrow, a non-partisan news organization dedicated to providing comprehensive, objective information about local issues. He is a graduate of Hampton High School and the University of Virginia.
Rev. Dr. Veronica Coleman is the Pastor of New Jerusalem Ministries in Virginia Beach, Virginia and a 2017 candidate for the House of Delegates. Dr. Coleman is the immediate Past President of the Virginia Beach Interdenominational Ministers Conference and has served in leadership capacities with other civic and religious organizations. Dr. Coleman is a native of Halifax County, Virginia and received her undergraduate education at Danville Community College and Averett College, completed graduate studies at Old Dominion University and Virginia Union University, and earned her Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.