Solar 2021

ASES Membership Meeting & Lunch

Session Moderator: Robert Foster

The 2021 ASES Membership Meeting will include an update on the organization from the ASES staff and board.


Aug 06 2021


12:30 pm - 2:15 pm


Center Ballroom


  • Carly Cipolla
    Carly Cipolla
    Director of Operations, ASES

    Carly Cipolla is the Director of Operations for the American Solar Energy Society and a graduate from the University of Colorado Boulder with a degree in Environmental Studies and minor in Atmospheric and Oceanic Science. She has always had a passion for the environment and worked for the CU Environmental Center before interning and working for ASES while in school. She also has a passion for horses and was a competitive rider on the collegiate riding circuit and President of the CU Equestrian Team throughout her college career. Carly’s other passions include sustainability, renewable energy, and environmental justice. Carly specialized in studying energy policy throughout college and plans on getting a graduate degree in policy in the future. Her hobbies include horseback riding, hiking, and traveling around the world. Carly truly values the mission of ASES and could not imagine working for a more passionate organization in the renewable energy industry.

  • Carly Rixham
    Carly Rixham
    Executive Director, ASES

    Carly Rixham joined ASES as executive director in June, 2014. She is a renewable energy professional with a diverse background in solar, biofuels, education and wastewater management. She received her master’s degree in ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado at Boulder where she researched microalgae for the production of bio-diesel and bio-ethanol. While studying in Boulder, Rixham served as director of arts and sciences at CU Energy. She taught biology and ecology at the university and high school levels. She also was a microbiologist at BioVantage Resources, culturing algae for bio-remediation of nutrients in wastewater. Prior to renewable energy, she worked in software development and technical support at Intuit. Rixham also served as a volunteer on several ASES membership and fundraising projects.

  • Joshua Peterson
    Joshua Peterson
    University of Oregon

    Joshua Peterson is a renewable energy advocate and very active in the community having served on environmental and education boards such as, The Colorado Sierra Club, The Cottonwood Institute and mPowered. He also volunteered with community solar organization Grid Alternatives, installing solar power installations in Western Colorado. His interests include solar policy and the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to aid in solving climate related issues and the optimization of solar power operations. He is also a thought leader in climate change related issues, artificial intelligence and machine learning policy and operational optimization. He is committed to the clean energy transition and working with individuals and companies to develop adaptation strategies. Joshua currently works for Kaiser Permanente managing a team of data scientists and data engineers. He holds a B.S. in Finance and Economics from Chancellor University, an MBA from Case Western Reserve University and an MA from American Military University in International Relations and Conflict Management. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in Management from Case Western University. Joshua also served in the United States Army, deploying to several locations in the Middle East in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

  • Narelle Kipple
    Narelle Kipple
    Membership & Programs Coordinator, ASES

    Narelle 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 plastic and trash that pollutes our oceans. Upon returning, Narelle swore to become part of the solution both personally and professionally. Since returning, Narelle spent her summer working for Environment Colorado canvasing for a ban on Polystyrene in the state of Colorado. She then finished her degree with a capstone project helping MillerCoors’ increase the energy and water efficiency of their brewing process. Narelle’s hobbies include skiing, hiking with her pup, gardening, collecting houseplants, and learning about new sustainable alternatives and products. Narelle truly believes in the work of ASES and is excited to be a part of ASES and the renewable energy movement.

  • Robert Foster
    Robert Foster
    College of Engineering, New Mexico State University

    Robert has over 30 years experience with solar energy projects in 43 countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Robert first worked in Afghanistan in 2006, and served from 2008-09 in Afghanistan for NMSU as the Deputy Chief of Party of the USAID Afghanistan Water, Agriculture, and Technology Transfer Program where he introduced indirect solar food dryers to the country. From 2009-12 he was the Chief Engineer for the USAID Afghanistan Clean Energy Program where he furthered solar food dryer development. He continued to work in Afghanistan through 2014 on UK and New Zealand solar projects. He is an Assistant Professor with the NMSU College of Engineering teaching solar energy. Robert serves as the current ASES Chairman.

    Presentation Description: Traditional outdoor food drying techniques are non-hygienic and inefficient drying on rocks, rooftops, relatively low drying temperatures which are highly dependent on ambient conditions. NMSU introduced newer and superior passive and active hygienic solar food drying technologies that greatly improved drying times by 3 or more times faster. NMSU worked with development partners like MEDA, GERES, GPFA, and the Kabul University Renewable Energy Lab to use solar food dryers for local economic development. NMSU taught carpeteners how to build and sell solar food dryers. Afghan communities readily adopted the improved drying technology with thousands of units now used by communities across the country.

    Robert is also Speaking at the Industry RoundTable representing SolAqua.

  • Sarah Townes
    Sarah Townes
    CFO & ZEN Director at American Solar Energy Society Inc

    I have worked as a singer running a small vocal school in Boulder for 25 years. In 2016 I wanted to get more involved in the environmental movement and started working in finance for ASES. In 2019 I started the Zero Emissions Network program for ASES, which has been a fast and deep dive into the teamwork, sweat, financing and magic that it takes to bring GhG emissions down as an individual or business. It’s fantastic work and I love it. This plus singing makes for the perfect professional life.
    Presentation Title: ZEN and the Art of Reducing our Carbon Footprint

    Presentation Description:Do you worry about your carbon footprint? Do you know the nuts and bolts of how to reduce your personal GhG emissions? Do you apply the knowledge that you do have into daily habits to minimize consumption and maximize contribution to the health of our environment? Do you help others to do so? If your answer to these was Yes, Not Really, Not Consistently and No, then you’ll understand why I started the Zero Emissions Network for ASES. This presentation is the story of my personal quest to turn my answers into No, Yes, Yes and Yes and how our amazing ZEN team and clients have succeeded. This session will not be a lecture but rather a conversation so… you’ve been forewarned.

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