Interested in helping behind the scenes with management of NorCal Solar, specifically as a member of the Board of Directors? Then this page is for you! If you have a philanthropic heart, time, energy, and good people skills, and you think you’d like to be considered for the board, please read on.

Dear Prospective Board Member of Northern California Solar Energy Association,

Thank you for your interest! We want to get to know you a little better to determine if you are a good fit for us, and us for you, so please take some time to read the rest of this introductory letter and to answer the attached questions.

We are a working board, not just an advisory board. To give you a better sense of what you’re potentially committing to, here are the basic requirements for Board members:

  • Paid membership in NorCal Solar
  • Paid membership in our “parent” organization, the American Solar Energy Society
  • A two-year term
  • Attendance at most or all monthly Board meetings (by phone, occasionally in person)
  • Attendance at NorCal Solar events
  • Time commitment:
    • average 1-4 hours per week for emails, reviewing documents, prepping for and attending monthly Board meetings
    • additional 1-2 hours per week for committee and/or event planning work
    • occasional help staffing a booth at fairs, Intersolar
  • Putting aside any for-profit personal agendas (that is, a position on the NorCal Solar board is not a vehicle for promoting your own company)
  • Contributing to fun and productive teamwork and to a great organization!

For the most promising candidates, the current directors can either appoint them (you) to the board at its discretion or place candidates’ names on the annual election ballot (depending on where we are in the election cycle and on current board vacancies).

The Nominating Committee looks forward to reading your responses to the questions below. We may set up a time to talk further with the Committee and/or with the entire board.

If you have questions for us, please feel free to get in touch. We invite you to review our bylaws, which are posted on our website,, under “About.”

Thanks again for your interest!

The NorCal Solar Nominating Committee
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Current Board members:
Justis Fennell – NorCal Solar Treasurer
Elaine Hebert –Ex. Officio Board Member
Eric Larson – NorCal Solar Vice President
Dan Lieberman – NorCal Solar Secretary
Doug McKenzie – Solar Consultant
JP Ouellette – NorCal Solar President
Pete Shoemaker - PG&E Pacific Energy Center
Sean White – Solar Instructor

1a. Please describe other Boards of Directors you have served on, volunteer work you have done, or other philanthropic experience, and how the experience might help you on the NorCal Solar Board.

1b. Why are you interested in serving on the Board of a nonprofit organization? (and especially this one).

2a. Please describe your skills, talents, and/or knowledge that you think would benefit NorCal Solar.

2b. Is there an existing NorCal Solar activity or activities you would like to partake in? Our current efforts include maintaining a website, organizing a quarterly speaker series, promoting a primer called the Solar Energy Resource Guide, staffing educational booths at fairs and the Intersolar conference, organizing solar tours, fundraising, identifying and recruiting volunteers and board members, giving talks about NorCal or solar in general - and of course the administrative activities of any organization – finances, hiring and managing staff, attending events, computer literacy, database management, and more.

3. Like many organizations, NorCal Solar faces fundraising challenges, and Board members are expected to participate in fundraising. Please describe any fundraising experience you have, the average size of the fundraising projects you have worked on, and how your experience in fundraising can benefit NorCal Solar. (Note: being a novice is OK!)

4. Please describe your knowledge level related to solar energy and in what areas or aspects of solar (such as the science/physics side, financial or policy side, running a solar business, etc.). (Note: being a novice is OK! We are interested in a diverse set of knowledge and skills.) (Also, no need to repeat anything from previous questions/answers above.)

5. Is there anything else you’d like us to know?

6. Please provide three references with phone numbers and/or email addresses. We are trying to find directors who are easy to work with, understand and agree with our mission, disagree respectfully and constructively, know when to stop or keep pushing, and generally help move things forward in a positive way. We will ask your references questions along these lines.  Thank you!

Your references:

Your name _____________________________

Your email address(es)  ____________________________

Your phone number(s)  ______________________________
Please email your responses to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Thank you!

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NorCal Solar consumer education efforts are made possible through contributions from our entire community -- our individual, organizational, and business members, our staff, our talented volunteers, and a number of solar professionals across northern California. Please consider supporting NorCal Solar's efforts. We gratefully accept financial donations from individuals and businesses, and we offer numerous opportunities for sponsorships and sponsor recognition. Please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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