About Solar United Neighbors of Florida

Solar United Neighbors of Florida is proud to be a statewide partner of the League of Women Voters of Florida. The League played an instrumental role in launching Solar United Neighbors of Florida and has championed the spread of solar co-ops. Together we are bringing solar to the Sunshine state!

As the Sunshine State, Florida has always celebrated the sun. Now, we’re harnessing its power to generate our own power, lower our bills, and make our energy system stronger. We’re bringing solar to the Sunshine State!

In 2015, Florida resident Mary Dipboye heard the story of how Anya Schoolman had started the first solar co-op for Washington, D.C. homeowners on her local NPR station, WMFE 90. She had a “driveway moment”. That same year, Mary went on to start two solar co-ops in the Orlando Florida area in partnership with Anya and Michael Cohen. The success of the two co-ops led Mary to encourage the creation of a statewide program in Florida in 2016 to include the League of Women Voters of Florida.

Our vision

We envision a clean, equitable energy system that directs control and benefits back to local communities, with solar on every roof and money in every pocket.

Our mission

We’re a community of people building a new energy system and rooftop solar is the cornerstone. We help people go solar, join together, and fight for their energy rights.

Our statewide partners

   

Our co-op partners

We also work with amazing partners across the state to spread the word on co-ops. Our partner organizations range from nonprofits to municipal governments, universities to community organizations, and individual “super volunteers” to houses of worship.

Some of our awesome co-op partners in Florida over the last few years have included:

Florida advisory board

Our Florida advisory board provides strategic guidance to our work. Members do not have fiduciary oversight but provide strategic direction to the program. They are members of successful solar co-ops, solar champions, and leaders in the community.

Chris Castro Chris Castro is an eco-entrepreneur, community organizer and sustainability professional with a passion for accelerating the transition to a clean energy economy. Over the last 10 years, Chris has consulted for governments, academia, business chambers, companies, nonprofits and communities to implement sustainability projects that include smart cities, solar energy development, building efficiency, electric vehicles, local food systems, water quality, ecological restorations, and more. He’s currently the director of sustainability for Mayor Buddy Dyer and the City of Orlando. In that role, Chris works to develop cross-sector policies, programs, and initiatives that support the sustainability, energy, and climate-related goals of the “Green Works Orlando” municipal and community action plans.
Michael Cohen Michael Cohen co-founded Central Florida Solar Advocates in 2015. That group successfully launched the first two solar co-ops in Orange County enabling 90 new solar installations. It was so exciting that calls came in from all over the state to create additional co-ops. This was more than two volunteers could handle. Together with their DC partner, Community Power Network and The League of Women Voters of Florida, the group has raised money to take the effort statewide via Solar United Neighbors of Florida.Michael is a Pittsburgh native, but has lived in Orlando for 30 years. He is a marketing professional with experience in restaurants, hotels, and real estate.
Mary Dipboye

In 2015, Mary Dipboye heard the story of how Anya Schoolman had started the first solar co-op for Washington, D.C. homeowners on her local NPR station, WMFE 90. She had a “driveway moment”. That same year, Mary went on to start two solar co-ops in the Orlando Florida area in partnership with Anya and Michael Cohen.

The success of the two co-ops led Mary to encourage the creation of a statewide program in Florida in 2016. Now, as a member of the Solar United Neighbors of Florida Advisory Board, Mary works with the Florida League of Women Voters and the organization to assist local groups around the state as they prepare to launch solar co-ops in their communities.

Deirdre Macnab

Deirdre Macnab served as president of the Florida League of Women Voters for six years and is currently Chair of the League’s renewable energy campaign: Lets Make Florida #1 in Solar. A co-founder of FL SUN, she helped engineer the partnership between Community Power Network and the Florida League of Women Voters.

Appointed by Florida’s two senators, Macnab serves on Florida’s Federal Judicial Nominating Commission. She has been recognized by the Orlando Sentinel as the Most Influential Central Floridian of the Year, by the State Commission on Women as a Florida Woman of Achievement, and was the first non-Latina to win La Prensa newspaper’s Woman of Distinction. Former business/non-profit experience includes Dun & Bradstreet, founding her own direct marketing company, and election to the Nashville Board of Education. She has an MBA from Columbia University and a BA from New York University.

Dr. Richard Garrity

Dr. Rick Garrity recently retired as Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County and had held this position since the year 2000. He was responsible for the overall direction of the agency, which staffs more than 130 scientists, engineers and attorneys with the mission of protection of the natural resources, environment, and quality of life in Hillsborough County.

Prior to working at EPC, Dr. Garrity was Director of District Management for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Southwest District office in Tampa serving under four gubernatorial administrations.

Contact the Florida team

Get in touch directly with any of our Florida team. Or, for more general Florida inquiries, contact FLteam@solarunitedneighbors.org.

Angela DeMonbreun
Angela DeMonbreun

Angela DeMonbreun

Florida Program Director

Angela is fourth generation Floridian. She is passionate about community education and believes that informed and engaged voters are key to building an accountable democratic society. A certified scuba diver, she loves boating and the beach. She enjoys collecting scallops in the Florida Gulf and lobster in the Keys. Her best recipe is lobster mac ‘n’ cheese.

Contact
angela@solarunitedneighbors.org
904-351-8570

Angela DeMonbreun

Florida Program Director

Angela is fourth generation Floridian. She is passionate about community education and believes that informed ...

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Jody Finver

Miami Dade Solar Co-op Coordinator

Jody, known across South Florida as “Solar Girl,” develops and manages the co-ops throughout Miami-Dade County. She put decades of experience as an advertising Mad Girl to use by creating witty slogans and signage that fought solar rights in Florida. A net-zero rooftop solar customer, EV driver, and local community organizer, she lives by example. When she’s not being a solar evangelist, she can be found kayaking with her dog Walter and her right-hand man Simon.

Contact
jody@solarunitedneighbors.org
786-671-5434

Jody Finver

Miami Dade Solar Co-op Coordinator

Jody, known across South Florida as “Solar Girl,” develops and manages the co-ops throughout Miami-Dade Co ...

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Heaven Campbell
Heaven Campbell

Heaven Campbell

Florida Program Associate

Heaven is a native of Florida and proud to say she’s #FreshfromFlorida. Heaven brings her passion and experience in program management, volunteer management, research, capacity-building, diversity and inclusion, and evaluation to her work. Heaven loves hiking and spending time with friends and family.

Contact
heaven@solarunitedneighbors.org
904-701-4059

Heaven Campbell

Florida Program Associate

Heaven is a native of Florida and proud to say she’s #FreshfromFlorida. Heaven brings her passion and ex ...

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Ian Reichardt
Ian Reichardt

Ian Reichardt

Go Solar Program Coordinator

Before joining the Solar United Neighbors team, Ian worked in rural Ecuador, studying the effects of a hydroelectric dam on nearby farming communities and working to protect those farmers’ water rights. This experience left him with a more nuanced understanding of the ways energy production impacts our society and environment. Ian is excited to be back in the states, working toward a sustainable, equitable energy system. When he’s not working, biking, or with friends, you can find Ian with a guitar, book, and/or craft brew in hand.

Contact
ian@solarunitedneighbors.org
202-888-3601

Ian Reichardt

Go Solar Program Coordinator

Before joining the Solar United Neighbors team, Ian worked in rural Ecuador, studying the effects of a hydroel ...

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Carra Cheslin
Carra Cheslin

Carra Cheslin

Director of Engagement

Carra is passionate about connecting, activating, and engaging folks from all walks of life in the good fight to protect our mother earth. She has a deep connection to southern coastal Maine where she has spent much of her life treasuring the tidal marsh areas and beaches. The dots connected for Carra when she studied abroad in the Brazilian Amazon and felt small in such an immense and interconnected ecosystem. Carra joined Solar United Neighbors to impact tangible on the ground solutions and mobilize more folks to get involved with spreading the word about solar in meaningful ways. Carra loves cooking, skiing and being outside and is certified as a Wilderness First Responder and Master Gardener.

Contact
carra@solarunitedneighbors.org
202-854-9815

Carra Cheslin

Director of Engagement

Carra is passionate about connecting, activating, and engaging folks from all walks of life in the good fight ...

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Ben Delman
Ben Delman

Ben Delman

Communications Director

As a six-year-old, Ben asked his sitting-senator if he could correctly spell “potato.” Since then, Ben has continued trying to put his big mouth to good use. He enjoys communicating the benefits an equitable, solar powered energy system provides and its tangible benefits for everyone. Ben hopes one day to see his beloved Cubs win a World Series, again.

Contact
ben@solarunitedneighbors.org
202-888-3602

Ben Delman

Communications Director

As a six-year-old, Ben asked his sitting-senator if he could correctly spell “potato.” Since then, Ben has ...

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