ReCharge! 2013

Aug 11 - 17, 2013
Focus the Nation has partnered with Center for Whole Communities to provide 20 students from across the nation with this life changing opportunity. The one week retreat includes a balance of intellectual rigor, collaborative practices, reflection and physical activity as it applies to building our clean energy future. We create opportunities for shared learning and effective collaboration among the diverse perspectives present for the retreat. When not hiking Elliot Glacier and attending an energy tour of a wind farm, hydro-dam and coal plant; students also spend intimate time with some of country's (and Portland's) leading examples of FTN’s four clean energy career quadrants: Innovators, Technicians, Politicos and Storytellers.   

Retreat Facilitators

Enrique Salmon

Assistant Professor, California State University, East Bay

(pronounced sahl-mohn), is a Raramuri (Tarahumara). He has dedicated his studies and work to Ethnoecology and Traditional Ecological Knowledge in order to better understand his own and other cultural perceptions of landscapes, philosophy, and place. Enrique has a B.S. from Western New Mexico University, an MAT in Southwestern Studies from Colorado College, and a PhD. in anthropology from Arizona State University, where he studied how the bio-region of the Raramuri people of the Sierra Madres of Chihuahua, Mexico influences their language and thought. Enrique has published several articles on indigenous ethnobotany and traditional knowledge. A former program officer for the Greater Southwest and Northern Mexico regions for the Christensen Fund, Enrique is now the Director of American Indian Studies Program, Department of Ethnic Studies, Cal State University. He is also an accomplished bassist playing Jazz, Latin Beat, and Avant Garde Freestyle sounds.

Stephanie Pollack

Founder, Creative Facilitations

Having traveled extensively in 35 countries and on six continents – living in Australia, Thailand, Nepal, and numerous places throughout the United States, Stephanie has gained a unique global perspective, which when added to her diverse experiences working in not-for-profit and corporate environments, greatly benefits her clients.

As a change agent, Stephanie supports organizations and people in transition. She uses her extensive organizational development and facilitation experience to focus on increasing communication and building positive relationships.

Creative experiential strategies, “Theatre of the Oppressed,” improvisational theatre, visual arts, and literary arts – are all Stephanie’s passion. They provide insight and enliven discussion; this guides people toward clarity and, ultimately, success. Stephanie excels when developing start-up educational programs, including study abroad, leadership, mentoring, and service-learning.

Retreat Speakers

Roby Roberts Politico_6

Vice President of Communication and Government Affairs

EDP Renewables
As the Vice President for Communications and Government Affairs, Roby Roberts is responsible for ensuring the successful strategic direction and development of policy, communications and regulatory activities in the United States and Canada.

With over 20 years in the renewable energy industry, Roberts has been president and board member of the American Wind Energy Association in Washington, D.C., the Board of Directors of the Canadian Wind Energy Association, in Ottawa, Ontario, as well as on the boards of many prominent regional renewable-energy advocacy organizations across the United States.

Prior to joining Horizon, he was the Senior Vice President of External Relations for Vestas Americas and was responsible for ensuring the successful strategic direction and development of externally-focused activities in the United States and Canada. Roberts also has held a number of energy-related positions at the following companies and organizations: Goldman Sachs, PPM Energy, PacifiCorp, the Renewable Energy Policy Project, KENETECH Windpower, and the Northwest Power Planning Council.

Katie Campbell Storyteller_1

Environment Journalist

Katie Campbell is an Emmy-winning producer at KCTS 9, the PBS affiliate in Seattle. She is a lead reporter for EarthFix, a CPB-funded local journalism initiative dedicated to in-depth science and environmental coverage in the Pacific Northwest. Katie produces multimedia stories for EarthFix and KCTS, including videos, slideshows, radio reports and documentaries. Her work has also been featured extensively on the PBS NewsHour. Prior to joining EarthFix and KCTS, Katie was an adjunct professor of photojournalism at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. She is married to fellow filmmaker Michael Werner, and the two frequently collaborate professionally on stories and documentary films.

Michael Werner Storyteller_1

Environment Journalist

Michael Werner is an Emmy-winning filmmaker, writer and cinematographer. His writing and filmmaking have been featured in/by: The New York Times Company, The Associated Press, PBS stations, the PBS NewsHour, Voice of America TV and the U.S. Olympic Committee. And his work has been shown at the Cannes International Film Festival. Michael is a former faculty member at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication where he edited and advised two nationally recognized, award-winning publications.

Last year, Michael and Katie completed a 30-minute documentary, Undamming the Elwha, about the largest hydroelectric dam removal project ever attempted. The film has been distributed to public television stations throughout the west and recently earned a Northwest regional Emmy for Best Topical Documentary. For the past year, Michael and Katie have been at work on a 30-minute documentary called COAL about plans to build coal export terminals in Oregon and Washington. The documentary is airing on PBS stations throughout the west this summer. 

You can find Michael and Katie on twitter at @MWerner1 and @KatieCampbell.

Sam Pardue Innovator


Indow Windows
Sam Pardue is a serial entrepreneur who left the Intel mother ship to form start-up ventures in Portland, Oregon. Upon graduating from Carnegie Mellon’s MBA program in 1998, Sam first worked at Intel Corporation as a marketing manager. After several years he left Intel to co-found Lensbaby, a celebrated Portland-based manufacturer of award-winning special effects SLR camera lenses.

In August 2010 Sam stepped down as Lensbaby’s CEO to found Indow Windows, a company that manufactures and markets Pardue's patented, award-winning invention, a thermal window insert that presses into place on the inside of a window frame to deliver double pane window performance at a fraction of the cost.

At the 2011 CleanTech Open Indow Windows won the national Energy Efficiency Category Award, the National Sustainability Award, and came in second place for the grand prize. In addition, Indow Windows has received Sustainable Industries Top 10 Green Building Products of the Year Award, Sustainable Business Magazine’s Innovation in Sustainable Product Award, and a Bronze Medal from the Edison Awards.

See Sam’s visual bio HERE.

Crystal Ball Politico_6 Storyteller_1

Oregon Liaison

Bonneville Power Administration
Crystal Ball is the Oregon Liaison at BPA. She is currently responsible for maintaining relationships with the state and local government. She has over 15 years of public policy and communication experience in the electric utility industry. Crystal has been answering questions about BPA from regional and national interest groups since joining BPA as a public affairs specialist out of college and serving as spokesperson. She also represented BPA in its Washington, D.C. office at the height of the West Coast electricity crisis. Working for BPA has given Crystal a thorough understanding of the Pacific Northwest high-voltage transmission network and the Federal Columbia River Power System.

Gunnar Johnson Innovator

Environmental Science PhD Student

Portland State University

Being born and raised in the Pacific Northwest Gunnar took natural spaces for granted, unable to fully appreciate the vast expanses of forest and rangeland around him until got out and saw a bit of the world. Once he did, he recognized that these spaces were irreplaceable treasures being squandered little by little, and decided to study ecology. After completing an Environmental Science BS at Portland State University, Gunnar decided to continue and is now pursuing an Environmental Science PhD. Water resources have been the focus of both degrees, with GIS spatial analysis techniques the primary theme of his undergraduate work and alpine glaciers the primary theme of his graduate work. Given the twin pressures of expanding populations and global climate change, understanding natural systems integral to the water cycle has taken on a new and growing urgency.

Steve Corson Politico_6 Storyteller_1

Senior External Communications Specialist

Portland General Electric
Steve joined Portland General Electric’s public policy team in 2007, and serves as an external communications specialist focusing on regulatory, resource planning and strategy, power supply, and environmental issues. He previously worked for the State of Oregon, including four years as a spokesman and speechwriter for Governor Barbara Roberts and ten years as public information and communications director for the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services. He attended Deep Springs College in California and holds a BA in history from the University of California/Davis.

Shannon Mahar, PE Technician_1

Supervisor of Meter Relay & SCADA Technical Services

Portland General Electric
With over 20 years in the energy sector, Shannon has been involved in design, construction, or commissioning of a vast array of new generation and upgrades to clean burning thermal facilities as well as over 4GW of renewable energy. She is currently employed at Portland General Electric as the Supervisor of Meter Relay & SCADA Technical Services where her group supports projects in substations, transmission, distribution, generation, distributed generation, and smart grid.

Her interests expand beyond the domestic energy transition to include the support of appropriate technologies including renewable energy for developing communities.  She has volunteered and reinforced this effort with involvement in Engineers without Borders and Green Empowerment.

ReCharge! Sponsors

If you are interested in learning more about sponsorship opportunities please contact us.