As a Solar Photovoltaics Installation Trainer, College Instructor, and Solar Business owner, Michael is considered a "Solar-360 Professional". Michael has been a Photovoltaics Instructor at both American River College and Sierra College, and now teaches Solar at various pre-apprentice training programs across Northern California, with a special focus on low income and re-entry candidates. Michael serves currently as an Instructor at FourPhase Energy and Hands On Solar. His experience was groomed in a variety of conditions and environments which includes 10 years of service in the Army, Wireless Telecommunications in the government and private Sectors, and executive roles in startups and nonprofit organizations. Michael considers GRID Alternatives the turning point in his career; his first installation was through volunteering with GRID! Michael believes in the future of the green industry and is committed to helping accelerate it's growth.
Board of Directors
Michael Dela Pena
Steve Geiger is the CEO and Energy Consultant for Four Phase Energy Corporation, and serves as both Department Chair and an Advanced Photovoltaic Systems Technology Professor of Construction Energy Technology at Sierra College. Steve holds a California State General and Electrical Contractor's License and has a B.S. in Business from San Jose State University. His college Solar Programs have some of the highest pass rates in the nation on the NABCEP PV Entry Level Certificate of Knowledge Exam. Steve has been involved in the startup and operations of 5 solar installation businesses, one of them named in the top 50 in the United States, and top 7 in Northern California.
Brandie Leathers, President
Brandie Leathers has more than 20 years of experience in the technology industry and serves as an advocate for regulatory and regional utility power providers, with a focus on Federal and State policies. Previously, Leathers served as the Director of Application Engineering and Project Management at SMA America. Leathers is currently the owner of Your Energy, Inc., a Northern California-based company that helps startups and established companies develop and implement initiatives in the clean energy sector, as well as the owner of V2 Energy Solutions, LLC., a Veteran-owned Holding Company that is focused on the development of both sustainable energy and infrastructure support solutions via Veteran based small and mid sized businesses.
Kelly oversees all Solar Installation projects as a Project Manager at Four Phase Energy and is NABCEP Certified. She brings 20 plus years of business management and technical service experience from her former career in the Photofinishing Industry where she worked and collaborated with Fortune 500 Companies. Kelly transitioned into the solar industry with great interest for solar technology and a passion for helping customers become more educated about energy independence. Her solar training is a product of the incredible workforce training programs in the Sacramento area and being a GRID Alternatives volunteer. She is also an advocate of Women in Solar and youth solar training.
Jonathan Marz, Secretary
Jonathan Marz is a partner of Diepenbrock Elkin Gleason LLP, a Sacramento-based Law Firm with a statewide practice in Construction, Business, Real Estate and Environmental Law. His own practice focuses on Construction and Business Litigation. Jonathan received his J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law and his B.A. in Political Science and History from UC Davis. When away from work, he enjoys cars, golfing and technology. Jonathan's interest in GRID Alternatives arises from his shared interest in the company's three-part philanthropic goals: (1) helping low-income families attain economic security; (2) providing volunteer installers valuable hands-on experience; and (3) pursuing clean, renewable energy.
Kate Meis has been a leader at the Local Government Commission for the last decade and has served as Executive Director since 2013. The LGC is a nationally recognized nonprofit connecting local leaders, implementing innovative solutions and advancing smart-growth policies. Meis has been recognized for her climate change work by the Chronicle of Philanthropy as one of the nation's "40 under 40 Young Leaders Who Are Solving the Problems of Today - and Tomorrow." Meis has helped launch many of the LGC's pioneering programs, including the Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative, the California Adaptation Forum, CivicSpark, and the Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation.