Lynn Benander is an educator and community entrepreneur. Using a broad range of skills and experience, she has helped to build community-owned businesses across the Northeast, bringing quality jobs, sustainable products and services, and valuable assets to local communities. She has been particularly focused on ensuring that individuals and communities that have traditionally had limited participation in our economic system gain access and influence. Working with non-profits, governmental entities, community development corporations, planning commissions, businesses, institutions of higher learning, and cooperatives, Lynn effectively promotes community economic development focused on justice and sustainability. For the last ten years, she has been the manager of the rapidly growing Co-op Power, an innovative energy cooperative that leverages the buying power of members from throughout the greater Boston area, western Massachusetts, and southern Vermont to invest in job creation, business development, local capital, and community building.
Energy Leadership: Putting the Local Back in Energy — Regional Snapshots of Energy Action in NH & Peer-to-Peer Regional Roundtables
The 6th Annual Local Energy Solutions Conference will open with two integrated sessions that explore a vision for an innovative energy future for New Hampshire. A future that preserves our natural resources, buffers our communities from a volatile energy markets and reduces the causes of climate change through greater energy efficiency and an extensive network of in-state renewable and clean energy sources. A future that we are building right now; as we are the leaders for which we have been waiting. The morning will begin with a panel discussion followed by peer-to-peer regional roundtables of attendees. Our four panelists who represent different regions of the state, face specific regional challenges, and represent a variety of perspectives (e.g., planning, community engagement, research), will reflect on energy-related initiatives or projects that have them most inspired & excited as well as their views on what further needs to be accomplished and their role in achieving that vision. The comments of the panel will provide the perspective of just a few of the leaders transforming the state’s energy landscape. Their discussion is intended to seed the peer-to-peer regional roundtable conversations that follow. During this next set of discussions, we invite all attendees to share stories of their own successes in their communities and their vision for the future, and to reflect on the role you can play in achieving that transformation. The conclusion of the session will be the beginning of the conference. A conference intended to support further reflection, storytelling, networking and questioning so that attendees will leave ready to fill those roles. Moderator: Chris Skoglund*, NH Department of Environmental Services Panelists: Dorn Cox, Lee Energy Committee Ben Gaetjens-Olesen, Planner, Lancaster Sandra Jones, Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative Venu Rao, Hollis Energy Committee.
New Hampshire State Energy Program and Legislative Updates: Meredith Hatfield, NH Office of Energy & Planning; Jim O’Brien, The Nature Conservancy. Presentation