Island Networks For Resiliency

Small, isolated communities face a host of challenges, including limited financial and human resources. As environmental and economic disruptions escalate worldwide, how do we ensure that island communities aren’t left behind? Network weaving is a strategy that can add capacity and accelerate the pace of problem-solving in places where time and resources are limited. Thoughtfully designed peer-to-peer engagement can facilitate the solutions sharing, leadership development, and personal relationships to help island communities thrive in the face of change.

Speakers

Suzanne MacDonald

Chief Community Development Officer at the Island Institute

As Chief Community Development Officer at the Island Institute, Suzanne is responsible for designing the organization’s strategic approach to sharing information and experiences across all areas of its work in order to further the sustainability of communities in Maine and elsewhere. For nine years, she directed the Institute's Community Energy Program, partnering with island communities in Maine, New England, and beyond to develop and implement practical strategies to lower their high energy costs. Suzanne holds an M.A. in urban and environmental policy and planning from Tufts University and a B.A. in international development and political science from McGill University. She serves as Vice-Chair of the Efficiency Maine Trust Board of Trustees and sits on the Maine Climate Council’s Buildings, Infrastructure, and Housing Working Group. She is also a Senior Fellow in the Environmental Leadership Program. In 2015, Suzanne gave a TEDx Talk entitled “What Islands Can Teach Maine About Energy.” Suzanne and her family live in Rockland and enjoy a close connection to the Monhegan Island community.
Suzanne MacDonald

Chief Community Development Officer at the Island Institute

Roger Berle

Founding Co-Chair of The Maine Islands Coalition

Roger Berle is a Founding Co-Chair of The Maine Islands Coalition, having represented Cliff Island in Casco Bay on the Coalition since 2002. He has been a resident of Cliff Island since 1968 and his family roots there go back to 1905. As both a summer person and year-round resident, he has seen and experienced the island community from multiple perspectives. He owned and managed a construction firm on Cliff, Finestkind Builders EPD, for thirty-four years and employed two generations of workers in serving Casco Bay’s islands.
Following his dissolution of the business in 2005, Roger has been able to further concentrate on two life-long interests: involvement in and leadership of nonprofits (NGO’s) in two universes: land conservation and Maine islands. His organizational memberships, now or formerly, include the Land for Maine’s Future Board, Portland Trails, Oceanside Conservation Trust, the Portland Land Bank Commission and the Maine League of Conservation Voters, of which he is currently Board Chair.
Both under sail and by power, he has boated the Maine Coast for sixty years and maintains friendships on each of the fifteen year-round Maine islands.
Roger Berle

Founding Co-Chair of The Maine Islands Coalition

Michael F. Childers

Chair of the Steering Committee at Great Lakes Islands Alliance (GLIA)

Michael serves as Chair of the Steering Committee, Great Lakes Islands Alliance (GLIA); Member of the Wisconsin Coastal Management Council; Commissioner of Madeline Sanitary District; past Town Board Supervisor, Town of La Pointe, Wisconsin; Church Council Member for St. Johns United Church of Christ on Madeline Island; Chief Financial Officer of Tammy Baldwin for Senate; and is a small business owner (Madeline Island Candles) on Madeline Island, Wisconsin with his husband Glenn Carlson. Michael holds an MBA in Finance and Marketing, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Michael F. Childers

Chair of the Steering Committee at Great Lakes Islands Alliance (GLIA)

Matt Preisser

Coordinator for the Great Lakes Islands Alliance

Matt Preisser serves as Coordinator for the Great Lakes Islands Alliance, a role which includes running the day-to-day activities of the network; facilitating meetings; and developing the foundational documents, tools, and support structure to connect these distant communities. He has over twenty years of experience in multi-disciplinary environmental policy, planning, and management; community development; and facilitation and strategic planning.He is employed by the State of Michigan, where he focuses on policy, planning and management of the North American Great Lakes, and the communities that depend on them. His passion is to explore collaborative governance models to improve efficiencies, find untapped synergy between siloed entities, and achieve shared outcomes. Matt holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Bucknell University and a Master of Environmental Management from Duke University.
Matt Preisser

Coordinator for the Great Lakes Islands Alliance

Stephanie Nowers

Co-facilitator for the Islanded Grid Resource Center

Stephanie Nowers is the co-facilitator of for the Islanded Grid Resource Center (IGRC) and for the Alaska Wind Working Group, which both provide resources and networking for small, islanded and remote grids seeking to integrate renewable energy primarily wind power. The goal of both groups is to increase information sharing and capacity building, eliminate redundant efforts, and promote collaboration, and ensure best practices and performance analysis related to the operation of wind, wind-diesel hybrid and other hybrid systems, She has worked in the communications field for 20 plus years and is the owner and founder of K.I.S. Consulting LLC based in Palmer, Alaska.
Stephanie Nowers

Co-facilitator for the Islanded Grid Resource Center

Mark Glick

Tenure track faculty of the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute

Mark Glick is a tenure track faculty of the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, overseeing energy policy and innovation and coordinating State and University of Hawaii assets towards fulfillment of Hawaii’s ambitious energy transformation and supporting similar objectives in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. Glick previously served five years as Administrator of the Hawaii State Energy Office where he led Hawaii’s internationally regarded clean energy transformation efforts. He also served as Vice Chair of the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO), the only national non-profit association for energy officials from each of the 56 states and territories with the purpose of advocating for the interests of the state energy offices to Congress and federal agencies. Selected highlights of his tenure as Hawaii’s Energy Administrator include: 1) exceeding Hawaii’s 2015 interim renewable portfolio and energy efficiency portfolio standards; 2) contributing to passage of the nation’s first 100 percent renewable portfolio standard and interim goal of 30 percent RPS by 2020; 3) leading the nation for five consecutive years in the per capita value of energy savings performance contracts; 4) spearheading the statewide Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement process culminating in publication by the U.S. Department of Energy of a programmatic EIS that examines the potential environmental impacts of energy efficiency activities and renewable energy technologies that could assist the State of Hawaii in meeting the goal established under the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative; and 5) overseeing all energy related regulatory filings and legislative testimony of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism
Mark Glick

Tenure track faculty of the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute

Alexis Chatzimpiros

Samso Energy Academy/Tentou Project

Alexis holds a Physics Degree and an M.Sc in Energy Production and Management. He has been developing and coordinating international energy and sustainable development projects for 13 years. He has extensive experience in island and sustainable development policies in the EU, advocacy for appropriate policies for local and regional authorities, and coordination of networks. Since 2017 he coordinates an international project aiming to bring together and support communities around the world willing to engage in their own energy transition.
Alexis Chatzimpiros

Samso Energy Academy/Tentou Project

Partner

Island Institute

The Island Institute works alongside Maine's island and coastal leaders to catalyze community sustainability in the state's 120 island and coastal communities and share what works among these diverse communities and beyond.