Dean Van Vleet-President
Dean is the owner of Solar Forensic Services, a solar module and inverter quality auditing and investigative service, and has worked in the Washington State renewable energy industry for over 20 years. He is also currently serving as the Director of Engineering at PureSolar in Tumwater, WA. In 1997 he joined Trace Engineering (later purchased by Xantrex Technology) to design and launch early grid-tie inverters and off-grid products. In 2007 he joined OutBack Power and helped created a spin off PV module division known as Silicon Energy. He was one of the primary design team members for Silicon Energy’s Cascade double glass PV module. While also working with Silicon Energy, he worked as an Application Engineer for OutBack. In 2011 he was one of the founding members of Itek Energy to bring to full scale PV module production in Washington State and served as their Process Engineering Manager for over 6 years. Dean has used PV and battery backed up inverters at home for over 18 years and recently upgraded his system with a 5kW PV array. Dean has an Industrial Electronics degree from Renton Technical College and has been a SolarWA member for over 15 years actively promoted the expansion of solar energy in Washington State.
Britton Rife-Vice President
Britton joined the Solar Washington Board in January 2016. She serves as the Communications Manager for the Distributed Wind Energy Association and as a Policy and Communications Consultant for eFormative Options, LLC. She is passionate about renewable energy and enjoys working on policy, engagement, and outreach efforts with diverse groups of stakeholders.
Climate change is one of the biggest threats to planet Earth and the expansion of solar energy as a means to offset carbon emissions from fossil fuels is a crucial step in reversing the effects of global warming and pollution. Chandra volunteered for Solar Indiana Renewable Energy Network where she gained a deeper understanding of how solar energy works and began teaching people how to go solar in their homes, churches, and businesses. Having relocated to Richland, WA in 2016, Chandra has established relationships with local solar contractors and is plugged into the local climate community through Tri-Cities Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Go Green Tri-Cities, and other up-and-coming grassroots organizations.
After a 25+ year career in social justice activism, Joan decided to turn her attention to another of her passions, environmental justice and clean solar energy. After assisting her local community in its Solarize campaign she went on to help several farms and businesses get USDA REAP grants for solar. She now works in community outreach for Northwest Electric & Solar. A supporter of “buy local,” she is also active with her local farmers market and serves on the board of her local rural water district.
Jack has a background in construction management, electric utility program management, solar installation contracting, and renewable energy program management with the International Living Future Institute. He would like to help Solar Washington engage new audiences on behalf of Washington State's rapidly changing solar industry.
Craig has been studying and attending solar and other renewable energy events over the last few years. He works at Boeing currently and am going out on his own with Build2zero which has a focus in community solar projects and other opportunities in the solar industry. Solar is his passion and has decided that it is his final career. He is looking forward to making an impact to the industry for Washington State.
Patrick Nugent, Executive Director
Patrick has over 10 years experience in the nonprofit sector concentrating his efforts on environmental causes including renewable energy. He has a BA in History and Political Science and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Washington.