Our Team

RREAL's team boasts a diverse array of perspectives, backgrounds, and skills. What do we have in common?
A passion for making solar accessible to communities of all income levels. 

MEET THE TEAM

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Erica Bjelland manages RREAL's  Solar for Humanity initiative. She joined the RREAL team as an AmeriCorps VISTA in 2016 and in 2019 was named as a 30 under 30: The Green Generation. Erica has bachelor's degrees in Global Studies and Environmental Policy from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. In her free time, she loves to run and play music. 

Program Development Specialist

Erica Bjelland

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Rachel Juritsch served as an AmeriCorps VISTA for RREAL  in 2018. Now, she works on RREAL's marketing and communications, fundraising, event coordinating, and serves as the solar energy technical lead. Rachel has a bachelors degree in Sustainable Energy Management from SUNY: College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Rachel has a love for fishing, crocheting, and exploring the outdoors.

Program Development Specialist

Rachel Juritsch

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Vicki O’Day's early career spanned twenty years in the financial services industry where she helped people invest for their futures then later focused on development of new products and services. She’s an active advocate for advancing the clean energy economy and transforming money consciousness. At RREAL, Vicki manages the CS4CA program and works with community development leaders in creating strategies and social impact finance mechanisms to build resilient futures that mitigate energy poverty and combat climate change. 

Development Director

Vicki O'Day

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Martha Risedorf is a Minnesota GreenCorps member serving with RREAL during the September 2019-August 2020 term. Martha graduated from the University of Florida in 2014 and is an advocate for transitioning towards renewable energy sources and in contributing towards efforts in reducing climate change impacts. At RREAL her responsibilities include participating in outreach events as well as installing and designing solar cell projects for Habitat for Humanity and low income communities. In her free time, Martha enjoys rock collecting and creating music.

GreenCorps Member

Martha Risedorf

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Nicole Saccoman is RREAL’s Chief Financial Officer, also supporting Real Solar’s efforts. Nicole began her accounting career at RREAL after accepting an internship in 2012 from CLC. From there, Nicole took the lead in the accounting department while attending Bemidji State University to pursue her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. Upon graduation, she moved on from RREAL to pursue an opportunity at a local CPA firm and eventually moved to WA state to become the Controller of UniEnergy Technologies, a manufacturer and installer of Redox Flow energy storage systems. Nicole’s passion for renewable energy and RREAL’s mission to empower low-income families had brought her back to RREAL in August of 2019. Nicole currently resides in Cape Coral, FL with her wife, 2 dogs, 2 cats, and their 2 turtles.

Chief Financial Officer

Nicole Saccoman

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While obtaining her Accounting A.A.S. Degree, Brook was awarded the prestigious “Student of the Year” from our friends at Central Lakes College. Brook has years of experience in accounting, management, and leadership! She enjoys searching out new adventures with her three teenage children, who are more fun now than ever! Her other passions include learning new things, outdoor activities, star gazing, and traveling our beautiful nation. She also is a lover of the arts in all their various forms.

Accountant

Brook Shire

Kyle Tschida joined RREAL part time in June of 2017. Hired shortly after high school, Kyle is committed to performing any duties that are needed for smooth business operations.

Office Manager

Kyle Tschida

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John comes to RREAL after working as an executive director for community and economic development nonprofits in the Twin Cities for 20 years. He is passionate about improving the lives of people in low income communities and sees solar energy as an emergent strategy to serve this mission. If you ask him, he’ll say he is part real estate developer and part community organizer with a little contractor thrown in. If you ask him about the contractor part, he’ll cite the three historic homes in Stillwater he has restored and say there is nothing any good carpenter can’t do in two hours that he can’t do in two years!

Director

John Vaughn 

MEET THE BOARD

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Manager at Rocky Mountain Institute Island Energy Program

10/20/18-12/31/20 1st consecutive term

Board Member

Dr. Kaitlyn Bunker

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Youth & Policy Manager

Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy

1/1/19-12/31/21 1st consecutive term

Board Member

Sarah Goodspeed

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Power Resources Manager

Burbank Water & Power

6/16/18-6/15/21 1st consecutive term

Board Member

Tessa Haagenson

Solar Assistance Recipient
5/24/14-5/23/20 2nd consecutive term

Board Member

Paul Johnson

Retired Director, Otter Tail-Wadena Community Action Council
8/24/15-8/23/18 1st consecutive term

Board Chair

Davis Leino-Mills

Bold Woman

Retired Accounting Instructor 

9/17/16-9/16/19 1st consecutive term

Board Treasurer

Mary Jo Mettler

PhD Student in Geography at University of Guelph
9/17/16-9/16/19 1st consecutive term

Board Member

Abhilash Kantamneni

Solar Assistance Recipient

12/17/16-12/16/19 1st consecutive term

Board Secretary

Kitty Mayo

Interested in becoming a board member?
Want to hear from past volunteers and staff?

Rural Renewable Energy Alliance | 3963 8th St. SW Backus, MN 56435 | 218.947.3779

Mailing: PO Box 89 Pine River, MN 56474

Contact us at info@rreal.org