In 2017, Executive Parisi established both the Dane County Office of Energy and Climate Change (the Office) and the Dane County Council on Climate Change (the Council), to further the county’s efforts to address climate change. As a division within the County Executive’s Office, the Office leads public and private efforts across the community to implement strategies to address climate change.
From July 2017 through March 2020, the OECC coordinated and directed the activities of the Council, as well several area-specific working groups, with the goal of developing a comprehensive Climate Action Plan (CAP).
The Office issued the CAP in April 2020. The Office is now focused on engaging stakeholders about the CAP and implementing CAP recommendations.
As the Director of the Office of Energy & Climate Change, Kathy aims to make it easy for everyone in Dane County (especially you) to make choices that help achieve our ambitious climate goals. Kathy has almost 30 years of experience helping businesses and residents adopt sustainable practices. Prior to joining Dane County, Kathy led Cool Choices where she worked with local governments and private businesses on sustainability efforts for about ten years. Before that she led Focus on Energy, Wisconsin’s statewide energy efficiency and renewable energy program. Kathy has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota, a Master’s from UW-Madison, and a reputation for getting results.
Sarah is currently a senior at Edgewood College studying Environmental Science and Biology. As our Energy and Climate Change Intern, she is extremely excited to put her passion for sustainability and conservation into action. She is focusing on facilitating our Climate Champions Program, Clean Energy Program, and Climate Action Plan. In her free time, Sarah enjoys hiking with her dog, camping, and being out on the lake.
A native Australian, Cameron is a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he studied Political Science and Economics. As our Clean Economy Intern, he is looking forward to the opportunity of making a difference to the community that has given him a home away from home. Having seen and felt the ramifications of climate change in Australia, Cameron is thrilled with the opportunity to learn strategies and knowledge that he may one day take back to Australia. He will work to support the implementation of various Climate Action Plan Initiatives. In his free time, Cameron enjoys swimming, reading and hanging out with his mates.
A Clean Energy Specialist at our office, Sophia authored our white paper on green infrastructure, researched net zero frameworks and made numerous contributions to our outreach efforts. She now supports our efforts as a volunteer. Sophia is originally from South Korea, but she calls three cities, Seoul, South Korea, Vancouver, Canada, and Madison, US, home. She studied abroad in Vancouver for 3 years starting in 4th grade, watching bears and raccoons in friends' backyards. She majored in international studies-politics and policy in the global economy and environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She previously worked at RENEW Wisconsin and supported the MadiSUN program.
Allison has studied and taught sustainability for many years. From her native Wisconsin, she has ventured out to mountain ranges and lakeshores across the country and back again. She writes for the Dane County Office of Energy & Climate Change to give readers food for thought and actionable suggestions to be a part of the county’s work to address climate change. Together we can forge a better future. Together. Dane County.
Scott Groux, UW-Madison Materials Engineering '18, is a recently evacuated Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Namibia, teaching Natural Science and English. He is currently pursuing full-time employment in the energy field to fulfill his goal of helping create universal access to renewable, affordable energy. He enjoys disc golf, misses ultimate frisbee, does the NYT crossword in pen, and turns the lights off when exiting a room.
Maeve Christlieb interned at our office while a high school student at McFarland High School. Maeve plays soccer and golf, and she will be attending college to major in something in the Environmental Science field. She loves traveling to explore new cities and environments, and she is particularly interested in transportation and cities and how to make them more efficient and sustainable. Maeve's big project at the Office of Energy and Climate Change was to build an online map that charts Dane County's clean energy projects.
Keith Reopelle, now retired, was the first Director of Dane County’s Office of Energy and Climate Change. Prior to coming to Dane County, Keith was the Senior Policy Director at Clean Wisconsin where he worked for 32 years leading clean energy campaigns at the state and regional levels. Keith served on numerous energy and climate-related task forces and advisory committees. He was a member of Governor Doyle’s Task Force on Global Warming as well as the Midwestern Governors Association Greenhouse Gas Accord advisory committee. Keith has a Bachelor of Science degree in wildlife ecology and a Masters of Science degree in environmental communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.