About the Project


The Michigan Clean Energy Leaders Project will convene 15 talented and accomplished young clean energy leaders from across Michigan. Participants from different backgrounds, professions, and perspectives will attend two weekend-long retreats in 2018. Each retreat will provide substantive instruction on clean energy topics, foster deep and meaningful personal and professional relationships, and provide opportunities to collaborate on projects to move the clean energy economy forward in Michigan.


Michigan’s clean energy economy is growing, but it lacks a cohesive young professional
community to help accelerate that growth for decades to come. Most young professionals in the clean energy industry flock to the coasts where the industry is more developed, while those that remain in Michigan lack the opportunity to connect with peers.

The Michigan Clean Energy Leaders Project seeks to build a generation of clean energy leaders in Michigan that is diverse, collaborative, and deeply interconnected. Such a community will develop new leaders, help attract and retain talented young professionals, and create a practical community to help drive growth in the clean energy economy now and for decades to come.


MCEL is organized by Cory Connolly with support from E2, a program of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), through a generous grant from Barry Sternlicht, Founder of 1 Hotels and CEO & Chairman of Starwood Capital Group. Cory is the current COO at Levin Energy Partners & Lean & Green Michigan and an E2/1 Hotels Fellow. To reach Cory, please email cory@micleanenergyleaders.com.

Environmental Entrepreneurs, a program of NRDC, is a national, nonpartisan group of business owners, investors and others who advocate for policies that are good for the economy and good for the environment.

Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council is a business trade association representing companies in Michigan’s growing advanced energy sector.



Project Commitment and Benefits


Participants commit to:

  • Participating in two retreats on June 8-10, 2018 and September 14-16, 2018. Both retreats are located in northern Michigan.
  • Participating in monthly calls in between retreats
  • Generating one blog post, op-ed, video, or other content that supports the development of the clean energy industry in Michigan over the course of 2018.
  • Working collaboratively with their peers during and after the program


Participants will receive:

  • Two expenses-paid retreats, including lodging, food, and programming. Limited travel stipends will be available.
  • Deep connections with peers in the clean energy industry
  • Exclusive tours of renewable energy sites
  • Membership discount to E2’s Emerging Leaders program
  • Free attendance to Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council networking events for all of 2018
  • Substantive information on the clean energy economy in Michigan
  • Opportunity to be featured on 5 Lakes Energy podcast.
  • Opportunities to promote their own work via the E2/NRDC blog and media channels
  • Other opportunities with project partners over the course of the program
Clean Energy, Leadership

Advisors and Team Members


clarkLiesl Clark
President, Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council

Dan_Scripps_349Dan Scripps
Program Director, Midwest Policy, Energy Foundation

Jennifer Mefford PhotoJennifer Mefford
Director of Business Development, Natl. Electrical Contractors Association of SE MI
Intl. Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 58

Tremaine Photo MCELTremaine Phillips
Director of Strategic Initiatives, Empower Saves

Team Members

connollye2.jpgCory Connolly
Project Director, E2/1 Hotels Fellow

Gail photoGail Parson
Director of State & Member Engagement, Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2)
weidman-jackie.jpgJackie Weidman
Executive Director, Clean Energy Leadership Institute

Jamie Scripps PhotoJamie Scripps
Principal, 5 Lakes Energy

SamHogg Sam Hogg
Director & Business Origination, Wolverine Power Cooperative | Spartan Renewable Energy

JessJessica Bondalapati