We’re a small office on a big mission. At ASES, it’s all about the people who make it happen. Whether publishing Solar Today and Solar@Work or producing the National Solar Tour or National Solar Conference, these talented individuals cover the solar and renewable energy scene from coast to coast. Meet the ZEN intern team!
Carly Rixham is the Executive Director for American Solar Energy Society (ASES). She is the Editor, Publisher, and Art Director for Solar Today magazine. She received her Masters in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at University of Colorado at Boulder where she researched microalgae for the production of biofuel. While studying in Boulder, Rixham served as Director of Arts and Sciences at CU Energy. Rixham also was a microbiologist at BioVantage Resources, culturing algae for bio-remediation of nutrients in wastewater. Prior to her renewable energy career, She taught Biology and Ecology at the university and high school levels, and worked in software development at Intuit. Rixham captained the University of Denver Pioneers Lacrosse team and coached for the University of Colorado (Go Buffs) Lacrosse Team. She enjoys travel, art, mountain sports, and nature.
Chief Financial Officer and ZEN Director
Sarah Townes has worked in music and finance in Boulder, CO since 1998, and was delighted to join the ASES team in 2016 to promote solar energy and sustainability in our beautiful world. Sarah enjoys working with the dynamic staff, and managing the finances for such a positive organization brings great job satisfaction. ASES’s large membership base and non-profit status require full accountability and transparency in all its dealings financial and social, and it brings her pleasure to work in non-profit accounting in such a high integrity organization. Outside of ASES Sarah enjoys singing, teaching singing and performing, and her latest album is available for sale on iTunes. Favorite recreation includes hiking, relaxing by the fire at the St. Julien, and having fun with her family, both immediate and extended. She finds inspiration daily in her young son and his friends.
Carly Cipolla is the Director of Operations for the American Solar Energy Society (ASES). She is a 2017 graduate from the University of Colorado Boulder with a degree in Environmental Studies and minor in Atmospheric and Oceanic Science with an emphasis in sustainability, renewable energy, and environmental justice. Prior to her joining the ASES team, Carly worked at the University of Colorado’s Environmental Center to further sustainability on campus as a Promotions and Outreach Associate. Since joining ASES as an intern in 2016, Carly has flourished into her current leadership position focusing on directing the annual National Solar Conference, managing staff, volunteers and interns, as well as focusing on general operations for the organization. She has planned the last four conferences and successfully developed and implemented ASES’ first ever virtual conference, SOLAR 20/20: Renewable Energy Vision in 2020 and ASES’s first ever hybrid conference in 2021. Realizing the success and potential of the virtual and hybrid events, she plans to add an online component to every ASES conference in the future to allow attendees to gather from all over the world. Carly is focused on expanding the reach of ASES and their programs, and has even started a program, the ASES Webinar Series in 2019. She has most recently implemented an online community platform for ASES membership of 20,000+ members, chapters and staff/board of directors. The platform is a place for the ASES community to gather, network and share information and events. She is looking forward to continued growth and success with ASES.
Narelle Kipple works with Membership and Programs for the American Solar Energy Society. She graduated from the University of Colorado in May 2019 with a Mechanical Engineering degree and minor in Engineering Management. Narelle studied abroad with Semester at Sea and while traveling saw the awful amount of trash and smog that pollutes our planet forming her passion for sustainability. She has canvassed for Environment Colorado for a statewide ban on polystyrene and was a Project Manager for an energy and air quality study of homes as they transition off fossil fuels. Since joining ASES as the membership assistant in 2019, Narelle quickly gained more responsibility in managing the membership database and involvement in the Tiny Watts and National Solar Tour Programs.
Narelle has directed the 2020 & 2021 National Solar Tours, growing the grassroots program to be the largest Tour in ASES history and first ever hybrid event in 2021. Narelle’s hobbies include skiing, hiking with her pup, mountain biking, gardening, and learning about new sustainable alternatives and products. Narelle truly believes in the work of ASES and is excited and proud to be a part of ASES and the renewable energy movement.
Sunshine joined ASES in 2017 and serves as Creative Director and Webmaster, ensuring brand guidelines are consistent across all marketing collateral, including Solar Today magazine and ases.org. With more than 22 years in graphic design communication, she has given a unique voice to numerous businesses through her passionate, creative design services including brand identity, print, web and interactive.
Jane Pulaski, recovering English major from the University of Texas at Austin, is editor-in-chief of Solar Today magazine. Before joining the ASES family, she was the clean energy communications specialist at The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) where for more than two decades she had the great good fortune to work alongside some of the most progressive thinkers in the clean energy space. Beginning in 2020, she signed on to help the Texas ASES chapter, the Texas Solar Energy Society (TXSES) with communications and marketing and remains its director of communications. Having read Solar Today for decades, Jane is committed to safeguarding the magazine’s time-honored reputation as an avid steward of networked knowledge, intellectual diversity and deep research traditions intent on boldly influencing the future. Trained as a baker, Jane takes refuge in her Austin kitchen for therapy.
Anna Bybee is the newest ASES employee working on operations, intern program management, the National Solar Conference and membership at the American Solar Energy Society (ASES). She recently graduated with a degree in Environmental Studies and a minor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Colorado Boulder. Anna is from Colorado and has a deep respect for the surrounding environment. She found her passion for environmental justice during undergrad, and hopes her career can emphasize the importance of ensuring a safe and sustainable environment for everyone. During her free time she enjoys playing soccer, painting, and camping! Anna is excited to gain experience and advocate for a renewable energy future on the ASES team.
Phil has over three decades in media sales, marketing and management. He has extensive experience with non-profit and renewable energy print and digital properties, including Green Manufacturer magazine, the Sustainability Manufacturing Network, Environmental Leader, Renewable publications in Brazil, India, China and Russia, Water Technology magazine, and Water Tech World.
Phil has a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from University of Southern California. He is an active supporter of PetSmart charities, UNICEF, Freedom Guide Dogs, and Workshops for Warriors. Phil is pictured here with his son and daughter.
Remi is a Programs Associate Intern at the American Solar Energy Society (ASES). He graduated from the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB) in Nigeria with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and has focused on renewable energy engineering, especially solar energy. As an undergraduate, Remi designed, installed and carried out performance evaluations on a photovoltaic water pumping system in FUNAAB community, as a way of advocating for the solar agenda in Nigerian communities where access to grid electricity is limited. At ASES, he hopes to better understand the solar energy industry and to help the society in the transition to renewable energy and sustainable living future. Remi was born and raised in Nigeria, in his free time, he enjoys reading classic literature and listening to music.
Online Community & Membership Volunteer
Social Media Intern
My name is Elyse McClure. I am a junior at the University of Colorado Boulder in the School of Arts&Science. I am earning a degree in Environmental Studies with a specialization in geology. My hometown is Danville, California, however, the open spaces of Colorado are quickly stealing my heart. In my free time, I love to ride horses for the University of Colorado Equestrian Team. I am excited to be an intern on the ASES team and dedicate my time to this amazing organization!
Welcome one of the newest members of the American Solar Energy Society team. This is Brynne O’Connor, she will be working as the Program Associate Intern, performing tasks to aid both the Solar Energy 2022 Conference and the Solar Energy Tour. Brynne was fortunate enough to graduate in person from St. Lawrence University in April 2021. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies with a minor in Public Health. During her time at St. Lawrence, Brynne was able to participate in a wide breadth of environmental management and energy efficiency courses which she hopes to apply toward her position with ASES. Brynne is a Massachusetts native, living just north of Boston where she enjoys engaging with her outdoor community. Some of the activities Brynne indulges in in her spare time includes, long walks with her hound Hobey, mountain biking, trail hiking, and summer time beach trips. Brynne’s environmental breakthrough began as a senior in high school when studying the detrimental effects of factory farming on all ecosystems. She possesses an eagerness to create meaningful change by influencing how others understand solar energy strategies that are less detrimental to the environment. Brynnes studies developed her love and passion for the environment and plans to capitalize on her opportunities with ASES to create a more sustainable community for all.