2024 Board of Directors Election

ASES Members – This year, we have seven eligible candidates and five open seats on the board. Listed below are the candidates and their statements. The voting period has ended and we will be announcing the 2024 Board of Directors shortly.

A list of the current Board of Directors is here. Questions about the elections or about any other ASES matter can be addressed to info@ases.org.

Mary Ellen Barker

Mary Ellen Barker is the Founder and CEO of Solar Land Agent, LLC.   Establishing Solar Land Agent is a testament to Mary Ellen’s commitment to advancing Renewable Energy solutions. Her team offers comprehensive Renewable Energy site advisory services, seamlessly integrating a wealth of experience in Renewable Energy, Finance, Economic Development, Real Estate, and Agriculture.

Solar Land Agent clients include developers and landowners involved in developing energy projects across the United States. Projects include utility-scale solar farms, battery storage systems, and site identification for any renewable energy project. 

Hailing from the Peach State of Georgia, Mary Ellen is an alumna of the University of Georgia, where she majored in Finance and Risk Management. She completed her post-graduate work at Mercer University, earning an MBA.

Mary Ellen Served as the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Director of International Trade for many years before starting her real estate and renewable business. 

Solar Land Agent is pivotal in guiding developers and landowners through the intricate landscape of renewable energy. With a commitment to excellence, Mary Ellen continues to shape the Renewable Energy sector.

Debbie Coleman

As an appointed ASES board member since mid-2022 and the sole architect, I’d love to continue the momentum with the insight I’ve gained in the many ASES programs. To date, I’ve not missed a board meeting.  I’ve served on the Solar Buildings Technical Division for 4 years, the National Solar Tour committee for three, and on the on the Technical Review and Organizing committees for the National Solar Conference for the last two.  In addition, I wrote an article for Solar Today, created an hour-long session for the webinar series, and frequently provided insight on membership, fundraising, and student outreach.  Along with passive solar heating and cooling, I advocate right-sizing and efficiency-first with building design to minimize the need for HVAC systems and photovoltaic panels.  As a board member, I have been reaching out to other organizations that have a strong stance on these issues and the willingness  to partner with ASES.  I believe that interaction with other energy-related organizations with strong education programs for energy raters, builders, architects, engineers, designers, HVAC professionals, and instructors will only strengthen and advance ASES’s mission of educating and demonstrating the various aspects of sustainable solar energy. 

Abraham Ellis

This is an exciting time for renewable energy. Within two short decades, solar PV has transitioned from a niche market to a mainstream energy option. But there is more work to be done. Going forward, within the next two decade, solar can reach its full potential to the extent that we are able to address major challenges related to systems integration, institutional transformation, long-term sustainability, and social equity. I believe that ASES has a critical role to play, and I want to contribute meaningfully. I have spent the bulk of my 25-year professional career working on solar and other renewable technologies through education and capacity building, technology research and development, and applications ranging from small off-grid systems to large-scale power plants. I am excited about the opportunity to apply my professional experience and network in the public and private sectors, and my lifelong passion for renewable energy to help guide an organization and team with whom I share a vision for a bright energy future.


Sampson Hao

I am passionate about being a key part of the energy transition process through my dedication and innovation. With a background in research and utility-scale solar development, I am excited to contribute my knowledge and skills to address pressing challenges at the American Solar Energy Society.

As a young researcher, my work on solar local zoning as well as property value impact near solar projects were recognized by ASES, and I received the John and Barbara Yellott Award at the 2023 ASES Conference. I would like to be a contributor and a good listener on the ASES board as well as future events.

As a utility-scale solar project developer, I have gotten familiar not only with the development processes but also the interconnection process, off-take strategy, market trends, and project siting over the years. At ASES, I am looking forward to sharing more industry trends as well as facilitating conversations on these topics.

I would like to run for the ASES board position because I believe in the potential for positive change when individuals come together with a shared vision, and the shared vision includes perspectives from emerging young professionals like me. Through my background, skills, and unique perspectives, I aim to contribute to the betterment of this organization by getting more students and recent graduates involved in ASES conferences and other events.

Richard Hartung

I seek to serve on the ASES Board so that I can help even more to speed up solar energy adoption and improve environmental sustainability. I also hope to leverage my skills in finance, governance and writing to enhance the organization.  I worked in financial services throughout my career, at banks and then as a strategy consultant. In addition, I became a freelance writer about 15 years ago and write for multiple media. I have served on boards at many non-profits, in roles including treasurer of the American Club Singapore and co-chair of governance for Jane Goodall Institute Global. I now focus on environmental sustainability through roles as a freelance writer, board member and start-up supporter, and also advise financial firms on strategy. I write for Impact Entrepreneur and other publications, serve on boards including Solar Washington, and am a member of E8 in Seattle.  My activities to support solar energy include organizing community education events, installing solar panels myself, writing about solar, serving at nonprofits and backing solar energy startups. I seek your support so I can do more to boost solar energy by serving on the ASES Board. 

Karen Soares

I am Karen Soares, and I’m re-applying as an ASES Board member. The past three years have been both exciting and rewarding, working with a group of dedicated practitioners, as passionate as I am, about the impacts of climate change.

I’ve been honored to serve ASES, including, as Co-Chair for EACC and in the newly elected position as Vice-Chairperson for the organization. It is in that capacity and others, that I wish to continue to help lead the organization in expanding and leveraging its amazing talent, making a greater impact in this world.

Although the last few months have been overwhelmingly challenging due to the rapid decline of my mother, I am now looking forward to helping ASES move strategically into a more visible position, attracting more funding and resources to better align with the vast opportunities of today, like our pending work at the Pine Ridge reservation.

I am ready to hit the ground running, doing what’s necessary to move the organization onward and upward. I believe our Solar 2024 Conference in Washington, DC, will help position us to be seen as the leader we envision to be.


Gokhan Tekiner

In our era of surging need for clean energy and the inequality of accessing it, the quest for more solar power and renewables is imperative.  As society grapples with navigating these challenges, ASES’s mission gains unparalleled importance. By fostering awareness, advocating policies, and disseminating knowledge, ASES accelerates the transition to sustainable energy. This shift isn’t merely ecological but societal, enhancing well-being, economic prosperity, and global equity. ASES’s commitment to making solar energy a norm rather than a luxury aligns seamlessly with the needs of our planet. The essence of ASES is rooted in its dedication to community, recognizing and leveraging the diverse perspectives of science, industry, policy, and citizens. This inclusivity and collaboration stand as our strengths, and I am committed to amplifying the power of community and contributing to the ASES’s mission.

Gokhan Tekiner has 14 years of global experience in energy industry with a focus on sustainability and renewables. Following his master’s thesis on replacing coal power plants with cleaner alternatives, he served in several global energy projects which included delivering the World’s Largest Gas Flare Reduction project as recognized by the World Bank and advising one of the world’s largest energy company’s board in net zero emissions strategy. In his current role as Vice President for a leading U.S. solar developer, he actively contributes to shaping the renewable landscape. Serving on executive leadership teams, forging partnerships to accelerate solar project growth, and overseeing the launch of one of the largest wind farm projects in Texas, he is ready to bring this wealth of experience to the ASES board. Gokhan is a global chartered management accountant and holds a Master’s degree in engineering.


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