Leadership Team

 
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Susan Kruse

Susan is the Executive Director of the Charlottesville Climate Collaborative. She has been advocating for environmental protection and justice for 25 years. After launching the Allegheny Defense Project in her native Pennsylvania in 1994, Susan helped to found the National Forest Protection Alliance and joined the staff as the Eastern Field Coordinator. She led their federal legislative efforts to protect national forests before ultimately serving as the organization’s executive director. In 2006, Susan pursued her passion for philanthropic work and became the Director of Development for the Legal Aid Justice Center in Charlottesville, Virginia and then a major gifts specialist. Susan returned to environmental work to join Appalachian Voices as the Director of Philanthropy in 2016. Excited to merge her passion for the planet and the community she loves, Susan joined C3 in 2019. She is a graduate of Clarion University in Pennsylvania and resides in Charlottesville with her husband Mike and their two nature-loving boys, Evan and Sebastian.

 
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Teri Strother Kent

Teri is C3's Director of Programs and Communication.  She is passionate about creating a better world through community involvement. She taught reading and writing to middle school students for nearly ten years before founding Better World Betty in 2008, a local organization dedicated to empowering people with fast, fun, and friendly eco-living tips. She led the first green business challenge in Central Virginia, The Charlottesville Area Better Business Challenge, which helped nearly 150 businesses increase their efficiency and sustainability measures. Teri worked as Communications Manager at the Rivanna Water and Sewer & Solid Waste Authority before joining C3 in September 2017.  Her love of the Rocky Mountains where she grew up has expanded to a love of the Blue Ridge. She loves throwing the football with her two teenagers, dancing 5 Rhythms, and hiking.

 
 
 
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Caetano de Campos Lopes

Caetano is the Director of Climate Policy of the Charlottesville Climate Collaborative. He has worked for the City Government of Buenos Aires, leading the City’s assessments of clean energy projects, representing the City with different stakeholders and decision makers, as well as attending international workshops held by organizations such as C40 Cities and G20. Since moving to Charlottesville, Caetano has actively engaged with climate change organizations, writing reports, leading workshops, and attending meetings at the US Congress, foreign embassies and multilateral organizations. Caetano also collaborates with the design and development of American Council for an Energy Efficiency Economy's climate-performance scorecard for key American cities. He developed a strong desire to work on effective sustainability policies while growing up in Brazil and observing environmental degradation and its consequences first-hand. He holds a Masters in Environmental Management and a Masters of Economics. Caetano lives with his wife in Charlottesville and is passionate about the natural world and scenic views in our region.

 
 
 

Andrea Bostrom

Andrea is C3's Residential Program Manager. Andrea began her journey into advocacy as a high school student in the Deep South, holding the enviable title of President of the Students for Environmental Awareness club. A native of Alabama, she grew up eating home grown tomatoes, communing with horses, and riding her bike through peach orchards. She took her passion for the environment towards a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Engineering from Louisiana State University and a Master's Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Texas - Austin. Andrea has spent almost two decades as an engineer, policy maker, and program manager in both the public and private sectors. She served as the program manager for the flood protection program at the City of Austin's Watershed Protection Department for seven years before relocating to Charlottesville in 2014. She served as Director of the Charlottesville Waldorf School before joining C3 in September 2019. In her free time she can be found experimenting with permaculture techniques in her backyard, digging for worms with her two sons, and taming the beast that is her lab(ish) puppy, Daisy.

 
 
 
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Erica Gaines

Erica Gaines is C3’s Office Manager. She is a Charlottesville native. Her heart is with the Charlottesville community, and she loves helping others. Erica is a member of The National Society of Collegiate Scholars as well as a member of the Honor Society at Strayer University. Her passion for nonprofit organizations started with her career at MACAA Head Start. There she served as the Health and Nutrition Coordinator of the program.  Her desire to make an impact in her community is what brought her to C3. She is the mother of four beautiful children, Quay, Brooklyn, King and Bellamy. Erica loves the outdoors, music and rollercoasters. She is thrilled to be a part of the team!

 
 
 
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Claire Habel

Claire Habel, C3’s Commercial Program Manager, grew up in Minnesota exploring the natural world.  She graduated from DePaul University cum laude with a Bachelors in Intercultural Communication and earned her master’s degree in Environmental Communications & Advocacy from James Madison University. Most recently Claire worked with the City of Charlottesville’s Environmental Sustainability Division and Office of Communications. Claire is passionate about engaging businesses to promote sustainable practices. She’ll be leading the Better Business Challenge as well as our Green Schools network. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, yoga, and spoiling her cat named Sloane.

 

2019-2020 Internship Team

 
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Emma Karnes

Emma Karnes, C3’s Commercial Program Intern, is a third-year student at the University of Virginia from Ithaca, New York. She is studying English with a concentration in Poetry Writing, and plans to earn her Master’s in Public Policy or a related field. In addition to her work with C3, Emma leads a research team focusing on anti-mining resistance in Ecuador, and plans to return to Ecuador next summer to continue project fieldwork. In her free time at UVA, she serves as an Advisor through the Honor System; dances and choreographs with Salsa Club; and participates in poetry groups. After graduating, Emma hopes to support local sustainability efforts through community development and local policy work. She is thrilled to be a part of the C3 team, and to contribute to their exciting work in and around Charlottesville!

 
 
 
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Linnea Laux

Linnea Laux, C3’s Residential Program intern, is a first year UVA's Master of Landscape Architecture program. She holds a BS in Environmental Engineering from Olin College of Engineering in Needham, Massachusetts. Linnea's capstone project at Olin focused on improving indoor air quality for residents near Boston Logan airport. She also sits on the board of CultureHouse, a nonprofit that turns unused storefronts into indoor public spaces. In her free time, she holds down another job as a TA for UVA's Global Sustainability class, knits, reads, and hikes. In the future, she hopes to help coastal communities adapt to climate change in socially and ecologically sound ways.


 
 
 
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Ariana Piacquadio

Ariana Piacquadio, C3's Communications Intern, is a fourth year studying Global Environments & Sustainability and Italian at the University of Virginia. Native of the Shenandoah Valley, she loves the mountains and first grew passionate about sustainability by working with organic farmers and farm-to-table chefs in the area. Recently, she served on the organizational committee for the Charlottesville Vegan Roots Festival and continues to be an animal advocate. When she's not in class or at C3, she can be found teaching yoga, cooking, or practicing her Italian. After graduation, she plans to continue working in the environmental non-profit arena before eventually earning her MSW in Environmental Social Work. 


 
 
 
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Gracie Tilman

Gracie Tilman, C3’s Climate Policy Intern, is a third year undergraduate student at the University of Virginia, double majoring in Public Policy & Leadership and Global Environments & Sustainability. At UVA, she has worked as a Research Assistant, volunteered through Madison House, and joined several environmental advocacy clubs. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Gracie is passionate about mitigating the effects of climate change felt within cities. Eventually, she hopes to work on sustainability policies in local government. In her free time, Gracie enjoys reading, traveling, making Spotify playlists, and spending time outdoors.


 

Board of Directors

 
 
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Grey McLean

Grey is the founder and Board Chairman of the Charlottesville Climate Collaborative where he oversees overall strategy and relationship development. Grey is committed to combating climate change, driven by the knowledge that it is the greatest challenge that we face as a global community. In addition to C3, Grey is also adjunct faculty at UVA's Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy as well as a Director for the Adiuvans Foundation, a private foundation focused on combating climate change and advancing early childhood education and well being. Prior to moving to Charlottesville, he was the co-founder and COO of MedAssurant, Inc. (now Inovalon, Inc.), a healthcare data analytics firm. Grey serves on the boards of the Albemarle Housing Improvement Program and the Southern Environmental Law Center. He lives in Free Union with his wife, Sarah, and their four children. If you are having trouble finding him, look in the woods.

 
 
 
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Pete Borches

Pete is the President of CMA Properties, Inc. where he manages all real estate holdings for Carter Myers Automotive (CMA) and its 18 new car franchises. Pete joined his wife, Liza, at CMA in 2004, shortly after the company purchased its 5th store. Pete believes that education and awareness are essential components of climate action. As part of his commitment to the issue, Pete helped CMA deploy 163 kW of solar in the 11 months prior to June 2019, at CMA’s Colonial Nissan in Albemarle. CMA has 3 additional dealerships in various stages of adding substantial solar systems. He holds a B.S. in Communications from Radford University and a Masters of Education from Towson University. Pete lives in Albemarle County with his wife, Liza, and their two children, Taylor and Parker.

 
 
 
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Morgan Butler

Morgan Butler is an attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center in Charlottesville.  As a member of SELC’s Land & Community team, he promotes transportation and land use decisions that strengthen communities, protect natural resources, and improve residents’ quality of life.  Although he works throughout Virginia, much of his effort is focused on advocating for more sustainable land development patterns and more accessible transportation options in the Charlottesville-Albemarle area.  Morgan received his bachelor’s degree and his JD from the University of Virginia, and he lives in Charlottesville with his wife and twin daughters. 

 
 
 
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Kristin Clarens

Kristin Clarens is an attorney specializing in international law. She practices out of Washington, DC and does extensive pro bono work in the Charlottesville area. She is an enthusiastic proponent of community organizations and efforts, serving on the local board of the International Rescue Committee as well as the PTO of her kids' public elementary school. In January of 2017 she founded Charlottesville Families in Action, an organization that connects families and businesses to local nonprofits to increase community engagement. She holds a JD from the University of Michigan Law School, a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University, and bachelor's degrees in Classics, English and Anthropology from the University of Michigan Honors College. She has three young children and has lived in Charlottesville since 2008. 

 
 
 
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Kelli Palmer

Dr. Kelli E. Palmer is the Head of Global Diversity & Inclusion and Corporate Citizenship at CFA Institute. In this role, she promotes and advances socially responsible practice in the areas of Environment, Social, and Governance for the organization’s operations and activities. Kelli earned her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in Higher Education Administration.  Her M.A.Ed. was earned at Wake Forest University in Counseling and her B.A. from Elon University in Elementary Education. 

She is dedicated to community service through non-profit organizations as demonstrated by her membership on the board of Charlottesville Climate Collaborative, the Peabody School, and her previous Board work with the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation, Thomas Jefferson Area United Way, Center for Nonprofit Excellence, LiveArts, and the Elon Alumni Board. Kelli and her husband have four children and reside in Charlottesville, Virginia.

 
 
 
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Karl Quist

Karl is the Co-Founder and President of PriceBlink, an online shopping tool that helps people save money when shopping online.  Karl also serves on the board of Computers4Kids and is a Co-founder of Charlottesville for Reasonable Health Insurance.  Karl is dedicated to fighting climate change, with a particular focus on motivating communities to take action to meet this incredibly important challenge.  Prior to founding PriceBlink, he served as New Ventures Director for Landmark Communications, Inc., and previously worked as a consultant with McKinsey & Company, Inc.  He holds a B.S. in Commerce from the University of Virginia and a M.B.A. from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration.  Karl lives in Charlottesville with his wife, Dana, and their two children.

 
 
 
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Devin Welch

Devin Welch is the Co-Founder and Vice President of Business Development at Sun Tribe Solar. Passionate about sustainability, he has spent his career championing free market principles as a means to achieve positive change across a broad range of environmental issues. Devin’s professional experience focuses on finding and capitalizing upon the critical intersections of sustainable best practices and corporate self-interest. At Sun Tribe, he continues his work on market transformation by engaging with individuals, businesses, and governments to reimagine the way energy is produced while realizing tangible benefits for all stakeholders. Prior to Sun Tribe Solar, Devin contributed to the World Wildlife Fund’s Markets Initiative and co-lead the communications strategy for the 2010 Earth Hour, at the time the largest public demonstration in history with the participation from an estimated 90 million Americans. Currently he is a founding member of the Charlottesville Renewable Energy Alliance and sits on the Richmond Advisory board for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation as well as the Amazon Aid Foundation’s Board of Directors.

 

Interested in joining the C3 team? Check out our Current Job Openings.


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