Our Leadership

VEIC was conceived by co-founders Beth Sachs and Blair Hamilton in 1986 with friends and colleagues gathered around their kitchen table. Three decades later, VEIC has grown into a national leader in the design and implementation of energy efficiency services for residents and businesses. The VEIC leadership group forms the foundation of the organization—setting our vision and driving success through empowerment of our staff, partners, and customers.

2027

Our 20 year goal is to remove 20 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Learn More.

Jim Madej

Chief Executive Officer

Jim is a seasoned leader with decades of experience in the energy industry as well as a substantial background in Energy Efficiency and all aspects of customer service. As CEO, Jim guides overall strategic direction and business development for the organization. Jim also serves as General Manager of VEIC’s Midwest Regional Office, where he oversees operations of Efficiency Smart. He has previously served as Chief Customer Officer at National Grid USA, Director of National and Government Sales and Customer Services at the Hess Corporation, and has held numerous leadership roles at the General Electric Company where he began his professional career. Jim has served as a board member of the Alliance to Save Energy. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from St. Michael’s College in Colchester, VT and completed a comprehensive series of business education courses at GE’s Crotonville Management Development Center.

Our Leadership Team A-Z

Maria Varela Brown

Director, Marketing, Business Development, & Policy

Maria brings more than 15 years of experience in marketing and communications to her work at VEIC. In the role of Director of Communications, she oversees the Marketing, Consumer Insights, Public Relations, Creative and Digital Services, and Customer Support teams. Prior to joining VEIC, Maria worked for Kelliher Samets Volk in Burlington, Vermont, as well as in the magazine publishing industry in New York City (Conde Nast, Time Inc., and Meredith Corporation, among others), managing and producing innovative brand, marketing, advertising, and public relations campaigns. Maria's broad knowledge of energy efficiency practices and technologies supports her expertise as a writer, designer, and strategist in effectively communicating complex technical concepts and programs to both commercial and residential customers. Maria holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Bucknell University, and a Master of Arts in Media Studies from The New School.

Scott Comeau

Chief Financial Officer

A seasoned financial expert committed to serving mission-based organizations, Scott has more than 20 years of experience aligning financial strategy with mission and goals. His propensity for managing multiple lines of business toward a singular objective has helped VEIC remain profitable, stable, and mission-centered throughout our rapid expansion and will ensure our sustainability for years to come. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Ithaca College and a Masters in Business Administration from Bentley University.

Matt Dooley

Director, Energy Services

Matt brings more than 20 years of engineering and leadership experience to his role as Director of Energy Services, where he manages a team of 100 engineering professionals and consultants working on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and transportation efficiency. Matt also oversees the operations of VEIC’s two subsidiaries, Commons Energy and Sun Shares. Matt leads with a balance of expertise in the commercial and industrial efficiency market and creative, strategic thinking for program operation and implementation. Prior to coming to VEIC, he was an energy auditor for Champlain Valley Weatherization Service in Vermont, and owned a construction company specializing in solar thermal installations. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Toxicology from Clarkson University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Vermont.

Shawn Fenstermacher

General Manager, Mid-Atlantic Region

Shawn brings more than 15 years of sales leadership, quality management, and operations management experience to his role at VEIC overseeing operations and business development for the Mid-Atlantic Region, including the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) contract. He is also responsible for maintaining and expanding VEIC’s position and impact as part of the evolving energy landscape in the region. Previously, he worked in strategic management roles for Honeywell and Siemens, driving productivity and sales growth. In addition to his 6 years of service in the US Navy, Shawn holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix, and is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt and Project Management Professional.

Rebecca Foster

Director, Efficiency Vermont

Rebecca is a proven leader with deep expertise in energy efficiency program design and policy. As Director of the statewide energy efficiency utility, Efficiency Vermont, she leads the organization in delivering energy savings to all Vermonters, while fostering relationships with partners throughout the state. Rebecca came to VEIC in 2012 as a Consultant, and most recently served as Director of Consulting. Prior to joining VEIC, Rebecca directed the Consortium for Energy Efficiency’s residential sector initiatives for more than a decade, increasing efficiency standards for lighting, appliances, air conditioners, consumer electronics, windows, new homes, and existing homes. Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Simmons College.

Jill Murray

Director, People & Culture

Jill has been a Human Resources professional for over 20 years, focused on designing and shaping organizations that deliver business success. As Director of People & Culture she leads a team dedicated to fostering a culture of collaboration and innovation, focused on the wellbeing and professional development of all staff. She brings a strategic mindset to her work and has extensive experience supporting organizations through periods of change and rapid growth. Jill joined VEIC from Cox Automotive, Inc. where she most recently served as Vice President, HR Business Partners. Prior to her time at Cox, Jill was the Director of Human Resources at Burton Snowboards where she worked for more than ten years. Jill holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Syracuse University.

Ted Trabue

Director, DC Sustainable Energy Utility

As a fourth generation Washingtonian, Ted has dedicated his career to strengthening the DC community. As the Director of the DCSEU, he leads the organization in meeting its economic, environmental, and job creation goals. Prior to joining VEIC, Ted served as the Executive Director of the Green Builders Council of DC. He also served as the President of the District of Columbia State Board of Education from 2010-2011, and as an at-large member until January 2013. Ted received his undergraduate degree in Economics from Dartmouth College, and a law degree from Howard University School of Law.

Pierre van der Merwe

Director, Data & Technology

Pierre is an expert in comprehensive-energy technical operations. He leads a team of 40 staff at VEIC responsible for providing data and technical services to VEIC’s Consulting Division, subsidiaries, and the three sustainable energy utilities VEIC operates in Vermont, D.C. and Ohio. These services include evaluation, measurement, and verification (EM&V) activity; software, tool development and licensing; business and customer intelligence; and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and third-party data integration. Pierre also assists in program design for prescriptive energy efficiency measures for both business and residential markets. He has served as a Co-Chair on the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships EM&V Forum and a member of the California Technical Forum. Pierre holds a Bachelor of Science in Manufacturing Technology from Port Elizabeth Technological University (South Africa), as well as degrees and diplomas in Industrial Engineering, Financial Management, and Business Management from three other institutions in South Africa.

Founders

Beth Sachs

Co-founder and Director Emerita

Beth Sachs co-founded VEIC in 1986 with partner Blair Hamilton, and served as its Executive Director for twenty-two years. She continues to foster stewardship of the mission, values, and goals that have set VEIC apart and made it a successful and valuable part of the community, as well as furthering our education, advocacy, and business development goals. As a leader in energy efficiency and passive solar work for more than forty years—a career spanning several oil embargoes, a couple of wars fought at least partly over natural resources, and increasingly cataclysmic weather events— Beth has made it her life’s work to (quite literally) save the planet. She serves on the Boards of Vermont Works for Women, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, and the Energy Co-op of Vermont, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Antioch College.