Christian Koch is the Director of Legislative Affairs for Michigan EIBC and the Institute for Energy Innovation. Before joining EIBC, Christian served as the External Affairs Manager at Lean & Green Michigan where he helped administer Michigan’s Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program on behalf of nearly 50 local governments across the state. In this role, he worked with elected officials, businesses, economic developers, and community organizations to advance energy efficiency and clean energy projects across Michigan through PACE.
While pursuing a Master’s degree at the University of Michigan, Christian worked with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory where he conducted legal, market, and regulatory policy research on the local, state, and international levels to help inform circular economy practices within the solar industry. He also has prior work experience with the Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, Michigan League of Conservation Voters, in Lansing government affairs, and at the Michigan House of Representatives where he worked for a member of the House Energy Committee.
Christian grew up in Ann Arbor and his professional experiences have given him the opportunities to live in East Lansing, Lansing, Traverse City, and Detroit. He received his B.A. from Michigan State University’s James Madison College where he majored in Social Relations & Policy and received a minor in Science, Technology, Environment, & Public Policy. Christian will receive his M.S. from the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability in May 2022.
Charlie serves as a Policy Associate for the Institute of Energy Innovation and Michigan EIBC. Prior to joining EIBC, Charlie worked as a Field Organizer for the Michigan One Campaign, working to elect President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and U.S. Senator Gary Peters. He was responsible for seven counties across Northern Michigan. Charlie also led the Grand Traverse County canvass program and staffed events with U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, U.S. Senator Peters, and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.
During his time in college, Charlie served as an intern in U.S. Senator Stabenow’s office where he served primarily on the Energy and Environment portfolio, while also handling an administrative workload. He also worked as a Press Intern at the Fordham University’s Institute for International Humanitarian Affairs where he conducted primary research on the intersection of climate change and human rights. In 2020, Charlie authored and published a paper on climate change and rights-based litigation in the Journal Climate Policy.
Charlie is a graduate of Colby College, where he majored in Political Science and received a minor in Environmental Policy. He was the captain of the Colby squash team and was elected to the NESCAC all sportsmanship team.
Brianna Gerard serves as the Director of Membership and Events for Michigan EIBC and the Institute for Energy Innovation. Brianna focuses on the vital work we do through the cultivation of business memberships and expanding the engagement in and sponsorship of events. In her 15+ years of nonprofit development and operations work – in the arenas of public safety, environment and healthcare – she has learned to measure success by three key metrics: audience engagement, educational impact, and ability to serve a strategic purpose. Brianna is driven, both personally and professionally, by her passion to protect and improve the health and environment for all Michiganders.
Previously, Brianna worked as a Clinical Operations Manager for nine years at multiple Planned Parenthood health centers where she became an experienced and strategic leader in healthcare management. Prior to that, Brianna was a development and events specialist for five years with the Michigan Environmental Council (MEC). She credits MEC and her mentor, Lana Pollack, for initiating her into the professional path of social services.
Brianna grew up in northern Michigan, acquiring a early love for being outdoors including boating, hiking, skiing and biking, and she continues to return to her hometowns for her children to experience the same. She attended the Haworth College of Business, at Western Michigan University, where she earned her B.A. in Business.
Grace Michienzi is the Director of Research and Policy for the Institute for Energy Innovation and Michigan EIBC. Before joining Michigan EIBC, she served as a policy advisor to Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan on a variety of issues, including agriculture, Great Lakes, and human services. In that capacity, she collaborated with departments, stakeholders, and the legislature to develop and negotiate policy goals for the State of Michigan. Before becoming an advisor, Grace joined the Executive Office as a policy intern and worked on health and human services issues.
Previously, Grace was a GOTV staffer for the MI Democratic Party ahead of the 2020 election, where she planned and staffed campaign events for Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist. During her time in college, she held internships in the U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee, Michigan State University Center for Community and Economic Development, and MSU Extension. She also volunteered as a Solar Spring Break participant for GRID Alternatives, a non-profit organization that focuses on advancing economic and environmental justice through renewable energy.
Grace is a graduate of James Madison College at Michigan State University, where she majored in Social Relations & Policy and received a minor in Science, Technology, & Environment Policy.
Tanya is the Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Institute for Energy Innovation and Michigan EIBC, and a Senior Consultant at 5 Lakes Energy. At IEI and Michigan EIBC, she will be specializing in cutting-edge research and energy policy development and analysis. In over two decades in the industry, Tanya has worked in both the public and private sectors on behalf of the Michigan Public Service Commission, Direct Energy, ITC Holdings, the Organization of MISO States, and most recently as President of the Michigan Electric and Gas Association. She has held various policy positions, working with state regulatory commissions and legislatures, MISO, FERC, and a variety of stakeholder groups. She also served in leadership roles as executive of two associations, and a director on several non-profit boards, advising on organization and policy strategy.
Tanya has a law degree from Michigan State University College of Law with a concentration in Environmental and Natural Resource Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Oakland University. She is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and President of the Energy Bar Association Midwest Chapter.
Tanya is co-founder and facilitator for Advancing White Anti-Racist Education (AWARE) and is training to become a certified meditation teacher.
Dr. Laura Sherman is the President of Michigan EIBC and IEI. She most recently served as the organization’s Vice President for Policy Development and as a Senior Consultant at 5 Lakes Energy. In that capacity, she supported Michigan EIBC’s policy platform, including ongoing regulatory engagement at the Michigan Public Service Commission, policy initiatives, and legislative efforts.
Before joining Michigan EIBC, Laura served as the policy advisor to Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) on energy, agriculture, and environment issues. In that capacity, she led a team in Washington, D.C. and Colorado to develop legislation, analyze policy issues, and negotiate bipartisan solutions. Laura was involved in crafting the 2015 extensions of the renewable tax credits, advancing federal initiatives on building energy efficiency, and supporting land conservation efforts.
Laura received a B.S. in Geological and Environmental Science from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in Earth and Environmental Sciences from the University of Michigan. Her graduate and postdoctoral research utilized novel techniques to trace mercury pollution from sources like coal-fired power plants into rainfall and aquatic ecosystems across the Great Lakes Region.
Cory serves as the Vice President of Policy for the Institute for Energy Innovation and Michigan EIBC. He is also the creator and Director of the Michigan Clean Energy Leaders Project and was a 1 Hotels Fellow through Environmental Entrepreneurs and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Previously, Cory was Chief Operating Officer at Levin Energy Partners where he helped develop and deploy the company’s Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) finance marketplace, called Lean & Green Michigan. Before joining Levin Energy Partners, Cory was a Senior Research Associate at the Environmental Law Institute in Washington, DC, working on clean energy policy in the US and abroad. He has also held positions with 5 Lakes Energy, the Green Economy Leadership Training (GELT) program in Detroit, the U.S. Department of State, and Fundacion Biosfera (Argentina).
Cory has been a fellow with the Roosevelt Institute, Automation Alley, & New Leaders Council. In 2012 Cory was named one of Forbes 30 Under 30 for Law and Policy, in 2016 he was named a Clean Power Player by Environmental Entrepreneurs, and in 2018 he was named one of 40 Under 40 by Midwest Energy News. His writing has been featured by the Environmental Law Forum, the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and the Roosevelt Institute. He is a graduate of James Madison College at Michigan State University where he majored in International Relations and specialized in Environmental Economics & Policy.
Liesl Eichler Clark is President of Michigan EIBC and the Institute for Energy Innovation. Under her leadership, Michigan EIBC has become the premier organization dedicated to advanced energy business interests in Michigan. Michigan EIBC serves the objectives of member companies by strengthening the Michigan network of advanced energy businesses, engaging the public and policymakers around policy and regulatory initiatives, creating partnerships to expand business opportunities, and advancing energy innovation.
In 2010, Liesl co-founded 5 Lakes Energy, a nationally recognized policy consulting firm offering services to the public and private sectors in clean energy policy development, research and analysis, and sustainability practices. Under Liesl’s leadership, 5 Lakes has provided client services in 16 states. The firm’s capabilities and vision have made it a trusted source for businesses, policymakers, and other stakeholders seeking to advance the transition to a clean energy economy.
Throughout her career, Liesl has built a reputation in collaborative policy development. She has been instrumental in building relationships between the clean energy business community and state and federal policymakers, while engaging lawmakers and regulators in the process. Prior to co-founding 5 Lakes Energy, Liesl held several positions in Michigan state government including: Deputy Director for Energy Systems at the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor, & Economic Growth; Policy Adviser to Governor Jennifer M. Granholm on energy, agriculture, environment and natural resources issues including the 2008 Clean, Renewable, and Efficient Energy Act; and Policy Adviser for renewable fuels and legislative liaison in the Michigan Department of Agriculture. She was also a Consultant for Accenture.
Liesl earned her a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Michigan State University (MSU) while working full-time, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Economy from MSU’s James Madison College. She has also completed the Great Lakes Leadership Academy and serves on local community boards.
Kaitlyn Beyer serves as the Programs Associate for Michigan EIBC and the Institute for Energy Innovation. Kaitlyn’s work focuses on communications, research and writing, and assisting with events.
Kaitlyn brings past experience in community organization and communications. In her previous position, Kaitlyn managed a State House campaign in northern Michigan.
Kaitlyn graduated from Michigan State University with a B.A. in Social Relations and Policy, a second major in Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy, and a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. While at MSU, she held internships at a communications firm, a gubernatorial campaign, and a legislative office, as well as working for the university’s Department of Student Life.