Solar Austin – 501(c)(3)
Kaiba White, Board Member, President
Kaiba has a passion for protecting the environment and conserving resources, so advocating for utilization of solar energy, as well as other renewable energy sources, fits right in with her priorities. Kaiba earned her B.A. in sociology from Rice University in 2006 and her M.A. in urban and environmental policy and planning from Tufts University in 2009. She then spent two and a half years as a research associate for the Climate Change an African Political Stability (CCAPS) program at the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the University of Texas in Austin, where she contributed to research on vulnerability to climate change in Africa and used geographic information systems (GIS) to assess and map current and projected climate change impacts and vulnerability in Africa. She is now an Energy Policy and Outreach Specialist in Public Citizen’s Texas office. She contributes to policy research, online activism, grassroots organizing and coalition building, as well as recruiting and overseeing interns.
Leslie Libby, Board Member, Vice President
Rachel Stone, Board Member, Treasurer
Rachel Stone is the Development Officer at the International Center for Appropriate and Sustainable Technology (ICAST), where she provides grant writing, development, and technical assistance to expand ICAST mission of developing and implementing market-based solutions for issues that plague under-served communities. ICAST is currently focused on educating and assisting affordable housing providers undergo and finance green rehab.
Rachel has a BA in Urban Studies from Brown University and attended the University of Texas School of Law. After graduation, she worked as an Attorney-Adviser for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) until she returned to Austin to work on clean energy advocacy and developing alternative financing programs such as PACE and Pay-For Success for implementing green rehab.
Carey Ibrahimbegovic, Board Member, Secretary
Carey Ibrahimbegovic returned to Austin in 2009 with a goal of transitioning her career into the solar industry. A former executive recruiter in the strategy consulting industry with a few years focused in the Oil & Gas industry, she saw the profits for the extraction of fossil fuels far outweighed the concerns of environmental damage and felt compelled to help make a difference. Since, she has started a successful local solar installation company with her husband Adi and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Carey enjoys spreading the word on all of wonderful benefits solar brings to our community. She has BA in Economics from the University of Texas.
Scott Burton, Board Member
Scott Burton’s interest in alternative energy grew out of the sudden vulnerability and soul searching that hit adults around him during the oil supply crisis of 1973. Creative solutions bloomed for the few years that followed, but, interestingly, their failure to take root was hugely driven by the relative attractiveness of their simple economics. Getting a deeper understanding of this fundamental driver that must be present for good ideas to flourish has been a passion ever since. Scott went to high school in Austin, has a B.A. with Honors in Economics from Brandeis University, and an M.B.A. in finance from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. He was an economist, financial analyst and finance manager in Hong Kong for four years, a Global Strategist at Samsung HQ in Seoul for two years, and has held corporate finance and consulting roles with green-tech, software and technology organizations in Texas since 1999. His work has included thin-film solar panel manufacturers, solar power system integrators, residential system sales and marketing teams, and solar power leasing firms. His professional home is now in corporate finance at the fabulous Volusion, Inc. in Austin.
Valerie Paxton, Board Member
Valerie Paxton realized how much she missed the sun during her 4 years of undergrad in Washington. She quickly moved to Austin to become an AmeriCorps volunteer building Energy Star housing for Casa Verde Builders. From there, she spent time at Austin Energy’s Solar Rebate Department and also at various local installation companies. Her interest in education and outreach led her to join Imagine Solar, where she organized NABCEP solar coursework. Valerie spent 6 years at local solar panel manufacturer HelioVolt as Marketing and Project Manager. She now focuses on business development for new homes and helping homeowners get solarized through NATiVE. Valerie moved to Austin to become involved in energy efficiency and renewable energy, and she joined Solar Austin to continue to advocate for solar and to make sure Austinites don’t miss out on the sun!
Stanley Pipkin, Board Member
Wesly Vincik, Board Member
David Brearley, Board Member
David Brearley is a senior project manager at Brandt Companies, the largest MEP contractor in Texas. Previously, Brearley worked as the senior technical editor for PV power systems at SolarPro magazine. His solar education began at the San Juan College Renewable Energy Program in Farmington, NM. Brearley became NABCEP certified in 2004. After working on both coasts for a national distributor, he relocated to Austin, TX in 2005 to manage residential and commercial projects for a specialty electrical contractor.
Solar Austin Foundation – 501(c)(4)
Kaiba White, Board Member
(see bio above)
Matthew Weldon, Board Member
Matthew has worked in the semiconductor industry for manufacturers of semiconductor process equipment & metrology tools, and enjoys technology startups. He currently works at the UT Pickle Research Campus in an NSF funded engineering research center focused on nanomanufacturing systems development. He has BS and MS degrees in Chemical Engineering from the Universities of Colorado (Boulder) and California (Davis) respectively. Between these educational pursuits he spent over 2 years in Central America with the Peace Corps constructing gravity fed potable water distribution systems. These experiences make him appreciate that fossil resources are too valuable to merely burn when they have so many other unique uses, especially when our current market design socializes their negative consequences. Water too is too precious to casually place at risk in fossil fuel recovery in the absence of indemnification for people and ecosystems reliant on at risk waters. Promoting solar energy utilization is thus a natural interest.
Carey Ibrahimbegovic, Board Member
(see bio above)
Mark Begert, Board Member
Mark Begert serves as Executive Vice President and Director of Meridian Solar responsible for operations, corporate strategy, and financing. Mark joined the company to develop the business strategy and to help execute Meridian Solar’s shift from a residential and commercial solar installer to a leading Engineering, Procurement, and Construction company focusing exclusively on solar in the commercial, public and utility-scale market segments. Mark graduated from Harvard University.