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 on 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.
Dan Holmes joined Clean Virginia in August 2022 as Legislative Director. He serves as staff lead on policy initiatives in Richmond. Over the past twenty+ years, Dan has accumulated a broad-based comprehensive knowledge of environmental policy, including energy, air and water quality, land use and land conservation. During that time, he has worked tirelessly to advance objectives of the Virginia conservation community at the local, regional and state level. He lives in the town of Culpeper with his wife and daughters and holds a Masters in Landscape Design & Ecological Land Use Planning.
Originally from California, Justin cut his political chops working on state and local races in San Francisco, where he also served in local government with a focus on homelessness and LGBTQ+ issues. Justin served as the Communications Director for the successful 2018 Abigail Spanberger for Congress campaign, Chief Development Officer for the Democratic Party of Virginia, and most recently worked with Senator Ghazala Hashmi and Commonwealth Forward. Justin lives in Richmond with his wife, Sarah, son Cortland, and fluffy cockapoo, Teddy Duke. When not chasing the dog or baby around the house, you can find Justin working in the garden, mostly tending to weeds.
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.
Sierra Lewis is a passionate community leader who dedicates her time to ensuring that all people have access to an equitable future.She is a proud Alumna of Virginia Commonwealth University where she received a Bachelor of Science. Here she expanded her community outreach and advocacy experience. Her favorite quote is by the great James Baldwin “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced”. With this in mind, she has pursued a career in public service. Sierra currently works for Clean Virginia as the Deputy Political Director where she is committed to ensuring a just and equitable future for all Virginians.
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.
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.
Shannon Gauger is a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University, and is majoring in interdisciplinary studies with a focus in urban and environmental studies. She enjoys long walks in nature with a reasonably priced $8 oat milk latte.
Gavin was raised in Belmont, North Carolina and studied Political Science and History at The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. He moved to Charlottesville in 2019 to pursue his graduate studies in Political Science at UVa, with a specialization in political behavior and social movement mobilization. During this time, he developed quantitative and qualitative research skills that he wanted to use to promote positive policy reforms, namely on consumer rights and environmental justice issues. Gavin came to Clean Virginia in September 2022 as the energy policy research fellow, and he contributed greatly to the team’s ongoing work on planning and regulatory reform. In his free time, Gavin enjoys walking around the Downtown Mall, playing video games, eating slightly too many sweets, and reading about American election history.
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.