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. 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

David Barash

Director, New Business Ventures

David oversees the development and expansion of VEIC’s entrepreneurial work, including the creation of new business models to advance its sustainable energy work with a focus on social justice. Prior to this role, he was responsible for leading the DC Sustainable Energy Utility start-up team, establishing VEIC’s Business Development function, and launching Commons Energy L3C. David joined VEIC in 2009 with 35 years of experience in growing social enterprise businesses. He has held executive and senior operating positions with Ben & Jerry’s, Burton Snowboards, Autumn Harp, and Shelburne Farms. In addition to starting two of his own businesses, David has been a senior advisor to social enterprises that have created non-traditional business models, and currently serves on VEIC’s Executive Leadership Team. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and Environmental Studies from the University of Vermont, and a Master of Arts in Administration from the Graduate School of Business at Saint Michael’s College.

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, Engineering

Matt brings more than 20 years of engineering and leadership experience to his role as Director of Engineering, where he manages a team of 65 engineering professionals in providing support to all three of VEIC’s energy efficiency utilities in the District of Columbia, Ohio, and Vermont, as well to numerous VEIC Consulting clients. Matt has led his team in helping shape VEIC’s high standards of work across the Engineering Division, balancing his expertise in the commercial and industrial efficiency market with creative, strategic thinking for efficiency 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.

Rebecca Foster

Director, Consulting Division and Commons Energy

Rebecca is a proven leader with deep expertise in energy efficiency program design and policy. In addition, Rebecca oversees two key VEIC Divisions: Consultative Services, a team of 35 nationally recognized professionals working on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and transportation efficiency; and Commons Energy, a wholly-owned subsidiary focused on bringing energy performance contracting to public-purpose buildings, helping to reduce operating costs and free up more resources to support the communities they serve. 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. Rebecca graduated from both institutions with high honors, and has authored more than 15 papers on innovation in energy efficiency program design.

Karen Glitman

Director, Efficiency Vermont

Karen brings more than 20 years of policy advocacy and public service experience to her role as Director of Efficiency Vermont, where she leads the organization in delivering energy savings to all Vermonters, while fostering relationships with partners throughout the state. Karen came to VEIC in 2011 as its first Director of Transportation Efficiency, and most recently served as Director of Strategy, Policy, and Public Affairs. Prior to joining VEIC, Karen was the Director of the University of Vermont’s National University Transportation Center and interim co-Director of its Transportation Research Center. She served as the Vermont Clean Cities Coalition Coordinator; held the positions of Director of Policy and Planning, Deputy Secretary, and Acting Secretary at the Vermont Agency of Transportation; and served as a member of the Vermont House of Representatives. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Vermont and is a member of the Vermont Bar.

Erika Schramm

Director, Human Resources

As a career human services professional, Erika knows how important employees are to the success of an organization. From March 2008 through October 2012 she served as the Human Resources Manager and led VEIC’s efforts to attract, motivate, and retain the highest quality staff. Prior to joining VEIC, Erika was the Director of Human Resources for Northern Power/Distributed Energy Systems. As the Director of Administrative Services, Erika oversees human resources, sustainability and asset management, and strategic technology services. Erika holds a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University and she serves on the Lake Champlain Workforce Investment Board.

Charlie Smith

Interim Director, Operations

An accomplished business professional and public servant, Charlie provides operational guidance and executive leadership for VEIC as it conducts a search for a permanent CEO. Charlie is self-employed as a consultant with a focus on transitional leadership; having also served as the interim CEO of Vermont PBS, and as the interim Executive Director of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra. A former member of the VEIC Board of Directors, Charlie brings a deep understanding of the organization’s mission to his role. A decade and a half in commercial banking formed the core of Charlie’s private-sector career, helping numerous Vermont businesses secure financing critical to their growth and success. Charlie also held key leadership positions under Governor Jim Douglas and Congressman Jim Jeffords, and served as a Vermont state legislator. Charlie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard College, and attended the University of Melbourne in Melbourne, Australia on a one-year Rotary Foundation Scholarship.

Mary Sprayregen

Interim Director, Strategy, Policy, and Public Affairs

Mary brings nearly 15 years of policy experience in both the business and energy sectors to VEIC. Mary joined VEIC in 2015 as the Deputy Director of Policy and Public Affairs. In this role she coordinated the development of VEIC’s energy policy and public affairs strategies and managed relationships with key stakeholders. Mary continues this work as Interim Director of Policy and Public Affairs and also now drives organization-wide strategic planning. Prior to joining VEIC Mary worked for Con Edison, Inc., Congressman Peter Welch (D-VT), and the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce & GBIC. Currently Mary sits on the boards of Cynosure, Inc., National Energy and Utility Affordability Coalition, and Governor Phil Scott’s Climate Action Commission. Mary holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Skidmore College.

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 and Technical Services

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; business and customer intelligence; advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and third-party data integration; and core software development. 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. 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.

Maria Varela Brown

Director, Communications

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.

Everett Woodel

Director, Midwest Regional Office and Efficiency Smart

Everett brings more than 16 years of executive leadership experience in both state and federal government roles, as well as business development management in the architecture and engineering industries to his role as Director, Midwest Regional Office where he oversees operations and business development for Efficiency Smart. His federal service includes acting as a Communications Director and a District Director for Ohio congressional representatives. Within state government, Everett has served as the Chief Operating Officer of the Industrial Commission of Ohio and the Director of Public Affairs for the Office of the Treasurer of the State of Ohio. His federal accomplishments include leading collaborative efforts with key stakeholders to address pollution and water diversion issues on Lake Erie and the Great Lakes. An Ohio native and US Army Veteran, Everett holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education and Political Science from Bowling Green State University and a Masters in Business Administration from Ohio University.

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, is Secretary of the VEIC Board, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Antioch College.