Board of Directors & Staff
CALSEIA’s membership dues support professional staff, including a legislative and regulatory lobbyist, who advocate on members’ behalf at the Legislature, Governor’s Office, and at state and local agencies. CALSEIA is governed by a 15 member Board of Directors. These individuals are leaders in the solar industry, and CALSEIA members-in-good-standing for at least one year. Directors are nominated by and voted on by CALSEIA members in November. Directors serve a term of 3 years and serve without compensation.
Board of Directors
Bernadette Del Chiaro, Executive Director
Ms. Del Chiaro brings over a decade of policy and advocacy experience on renewable energy issues in California, and in particular, solar power. As the Director of Clean Energy and Global Warming Programs at Environment California, a citizen-based environmental advocacy organization, Ms. Del Chiaro was a leading voice, if not the principle architect, of nearly all of the major clean energy policy initiatives over the last decade. These initiatives include the Million Solar Roofs Initiative (SB 1), California Solar Initiative, the Solar Water Heating Initiative (AB 1470), and the renewable portfolio standards established at the state and local levels. She's authored several clean energy reports and has been quoted widely in the media including MSNBC, NPR, BBC World News, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and dozens of local and trade outlets. Del Chiaro, a California native, holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California at Berkeley. She lives in Sacramento with her husband and two young children, Oliver and Willa.
Kelsea Jones, Membership and Marketing Director
Kelsea Jones began her career with CALSEIA in 2012 but she got her start in solar much earlier than that. Growing up in a family with both parents in the solar industry, an 8kw PV system, and solar thermal on her childhood home, Jones gained her passion and deep understanding of solar energy. Originally from Florida, Jones moved to California to pursue a career in the solar industry. She graduated Cum Laude from Florida International University with a bachelor’s degree in English. While at FIU, Jones helped pilot some of the university’s first large-scale environmental efforts - implementing programs that are still continued today, served on committees on sustainability, and conducted environmental service in the Galapagos Islands.
Brad Heavner, Policy Director
Brad has over sixteen years of clean energy advocacy experience with statewide and national organizations. He was the architect of the nation’s strictest state policy on existing coal-fired power plants, the Healthy Air Act, and led the campaign for Maryland’s law modeled on California’s AB 32. He is the author of dozens of research reports written for statewide policy campaigns across the country. Before joining CALSEIA’s staff in 2013 he was working to support the development of Sonoma Clean Power and other Community Choice Aggregation initiatives in California.
Elise De Grande, Administrative Assistant
Ms. De Grande comes to CALSEIA with more than five years of experience working for non-profits in executive and administrative roles. She is a native of Brazil and has spent several years in non-profit work in India. She has now settled in Sacramento and is eager to focus her energies on growing CALSEIA and furthering our cause of increasing solar power throughout California.
Will Gonzalez, Lobbyist
Will Gonzalez has over 15 years of legislative and political experience. In 2002 he established his firm, Gonzalez Public Affairs, which specializes in legislative advocacy on transportation, environmental, and energy issues and prides itself on its policy expertise and close bipartisan relationships. The firm has achieved significant legislative victories for its clients including securing millions in state transportation funding, helping pass sweeping renewable energy laws, and spearheading efforts to reform state procurement.
Donald Simon, General Counsel
Donald primarily focuses on matters related to business and construction law, solar, green building and environmental policy. He has broad experience representing public and private clients on a multitude of contract, litigation, regulatory and general business issues. Donald co-founded the firm’s Green Business Practice Group and led the firm’s internal sustainability efforts, including becoming the first law firm to attain green business certification.
Board of Director Elections
CALSEIA is governed by a 15-member board of directors who represent all aspects of the solar industry - from manufacturers, to contractors, to at-large members who can represent various industry segments. Elections are usually very close as CALSEIA's board is comprised of the most knowledgeable solar industry leaders in California.
All Board of Director members have been CALSEIA members for at least one year, and are members-in-good-standing. Directors are nominated by and voted on by CALSEIA members in November. Directors serve a term of 3 years and serve without compensation.