The Non-Profit Perspective

Tristin Rader, Solar United Neighbors

Tristan has more than a decade of experience in community outreach, social services, and organizing. Tristan currently serves on Lakewood City Council, where he led the effort to pass the city’s 100% renewable energy commitment, secure over 700 kW of solar on city buildings, and reorganized council committees to include a sustainably focus. He brings a wide range of experience and skills to his work at Solar United Neighbors as Ohio’s Program Director where he has helped to build and support a diverse community of solar advocates and supporters. Tristan spends a great deal of his free time engaged in his local community, serving the needs of his constituents, holding town hall meetings, and working with the non-profit and small business community to address concerns. Tristan holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Kent State, a Master’s in Public Administration from Cleveland State, and is currently enrolled in Yale’s Center for Business and the Environment, Financing, and Deploying Clean Energy Certificate Program.

Sarah Conley-Ballew, Rural Action

Sarah Conley-Ballew serves as Program Director of Sustainable Energy Solutions at Rural Action. She was the founding director of UpGrade Ohio, establishing Appalachian Ohio’s first clean energy-focused nonprofit organization. Sarah was a SolSmart Advisor to four Appalachian communities in 2017, supporting efforts to prepare local governments for smart solar development. She has played a pivotal role in the development of the regional local food economy through her work as Athens Farmers Market Manager and as board Vice President of Community Food Initiatives. She joined the Board of Directors of Green Energy Ohio in 2018. Sarah earned a Bachelor of Specialized Studies with a concentration in Social and Environmental Ecology from Ohio University and a Master of Public Administration from Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. Sarah lives in Athens County, Ohio with her husband and three beautiful children and enjoys farming, bird-watching, and playing in the mud.