Board of Directors

Northwest SEED has an active and engaged Board of Directors. Collectively, they contribute experience in organizational management, financing, marketing, development of new ventures, fundraising, and non-profit governance. Board members play a critical role in providing organizational direction, financial and organizational policy and procedures oversight, and promoting Northwest SEED’s mission and programs throughout the community. Northwest SEED is currently recruiting new board members. To learn more, visit Opportunities. We welcome all backgrounds and strive to have a staff and board that reflects the diverse communities we serve.

Michael Baranick, Board Chair

Mike leads the Energy Services team at Hargis Engineers Inc., a Seattle-based engineering consulting firm that specializes in mechanical, electrical, and telecom design. In this role, Mike develops and implements solutions to help meet clients’ energy conservation goals by improving the efficiency and functionality of existing building systems. Prior to joining Hargis, he worked as an Energy Engineer at McKinstry and a Process Engineer at Intel Corporation. Mike holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Santa Clara University and an M.B.A from Seattle University. Professional accreditations include a Professional Engineer (PE) license in the State of Washington and a Certified Energy Manager (CEM) certificate. Mike resides in Seattle with his wife, three children, and two dogs.

Chris Bast, Vice Chair

Chris is a dad, a husband, a proud West Seattlite, a native Virginian, and is driven by the urgency for climate action. As the Climate and Transportation Policy Advisor at Seattle’s Office of Sustainability and Environment, Chris is primarily focused on designing and implementing policies and programs to reduce carbon pollution from the transportation sector. He was previously the Business Partnerships Manager for Climate Solutions – facilitating business stakeholder engagement with the organization’s programs and policy goals. Prior to joining Climate Solutions, Chris worked in a variety of political and government roles for Governor Tim Kaine of Virginia including managing the Governor’s Renew Virginia initiative to support energy efficiency and promote clean energy and sustainability. Chris is also a Truman National Security Project Partner. The Truman National Security Project unites next-generation veteran, political, and policy leaders to develop and advance strong, smart and principled solutions to the global challenges Americans now face. Chris earned his MPA from Seattle University an undergraduate degree in political science from James Madison University in Virginia.

Heather Mulligan, Secretary

Heather is the Market Manager of Puget Sound Energy’s Green Power Program – a nationally recognized program which promotes the development and adoption of renewable energy technologies in the Pacific Northwest. Prior to joining Puget Sound Energy in 2006, Heather worked as the national and regional coordinator of U.S. Department of Energy’s Million Solar Roofs Initiative. Her work at DOE built from a successful eight year career as a renewable energy policy consultant. She has more than 20 years of experience working on programs which support the deployment and use of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. Heather holds a B.A. in International Relations from the University of San Diego and a Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.) from American University.

Rachel Brombaugh, Treasurer

As King County’s Executive Energy Policy and Partnerships Specialist, Rachel serves as a catalyst and connector for the expansion of energy efficiency investments and renewable energy production by King County and its partners. Rachel has over 10 years of clean energy industry experience from her tenure at McKinstry where she developed, structured, and negotiated financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Prior to joining McKinstry, Rachel worked at Craft3 (formerly Shorebank Enterprise Cascadia), a non-bank financial institution, providing capital to entrepreneurs in the Pacific Northwest to generate positive social, economic, and environmental impacts. Rachel has additional experience in finance and operations from positions held in the commercial banking and software industries. Rachel holds a B.A. in American History and Literature from Stanford University and a M.B.A. from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington.

Lee Pallat

Lee is the Director of Cloud Strategy at StrataCore, a company that provides data center, cloud and connectivity consulting and brokering services. Prior to StrataCore, Lee was the Director of Sales and Client services at digital.forest, Inc.  For over five years, Lee led the company to industry-leading growth and innovation. His proven success in the technology space is aided by his decades of sales and customer service management experience at Orrtax/Taxwise and large retail companies such as Sears Corp. Lee has long been a proponent of renewable energy and high efficiency solutions in and out of the datacenter. He holds a B.S. in Engineering from the University of Washington and lives in Bellevue with his wife, daughter and two sons.

Adam Byrnes

Adam loves commercializing technology that solves large problems. He has worked with three start-ups each using technology to affect change: one that invented a new finance model to help homeowners make their homes greener, one developing an LED product to disrupt the commercial lighting market, and one in India that uses technology to deliver energy to the 400 million Indians with an income of less than $2 a day. Adam also worked as a Government Relations Representative for California’s largest investor-owned utility, PG&E. He currently works as a Product Manager at Amazon Video. Adam spends his free time fiddling with his camera, playing racquetball, and backpacking around National Parks. He earned an M.B.A. and M.S. in Natural Science at the University of Michigan and holds undergraduate degrees in American Studies and Political Science at Cal State Fullerton.

Christine Grant

Christine Grant is a Senior Associate at Collaborative Efficiency, a clean energy consulting firm that focuses specifically on rural electric cooperatives and small utilities. Her previous work experience includes five years with Cascadia Consulting Group where she consulted with municipalities, utilities, and businesses on resource conservation strategies and programs. From 2007-2008 Christine worked as an analyst at an environmentally-responsible asset management firm evaluating the energy and environmental practices of S&P 500 corporations. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications and a major newspaper. Christine holds a B.A. degree in Environmental Studies from Wellesley College.

Dave Benson

David is a partner at K&L Gates, a global law firm with approximately 2,000 lawyers. For more than 15 years, he has focused his legal practice on helping clients with energy project development and financings in the U.S. and abroad. David represents investors, developers, and suppliers in wind, solar, biomass, thermal, transmission, energy storage and other energy transactions. Prior to joining K&L Gates, David was a partner at Stoel Rives handling energy project development and financing. He is a member of the board and the executive committee of the Clean Technology Alliance of Washington. He was appointed by the Governor and the Director of Commerce for the State of Washington to the Smart Grid Expert Advisory panel for the Clean Energy Fund, 2013 and 2016; the Washington Clean Energy Leadership Council 2009-2010; and the State Energy Strategy Advisory Committee, 2010-2011. David holds an LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center, a J.D. from Michigan State University College of Law, and B.S., Finance from Arizona State University.

Kendra White

As an Associate at Cascadia Consulting Group, Kendra creates and customizes models and methods to support informed decision making. With a strong background in economics, modeling, and public policy, she provides clients with nuanced analyses and innovative strategies regarding renewable energy, zero waste, and sustainability. Her work includes market research for Seattle City Light’s commercial renewable energy initiative and on-call sustainability support for Sound Transit, including its current consideration of onsite solar generation. Kendra previously worked as an economist at the WA Utilities and Transportation Commission, where she analyzed rate structures for electric utilities, created pricing strategies for conservation measures, and provided legal testimony for rate cases. Kendra holds a B.A. degree in economics from Colgate University.

Board Fellows

Northwest SEED has been selected to participate in the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business Board Fellows program. The program placed two MBA and MPA students as non-voting members on our Board.

Nicole Bateman

Nicole is a student at the University of Washington Evans School working towards her Masters of Public Administration. Her studies focus on environmental policy and management, environmental economics, and climate change policy. Prior to attending the University of Washington, Nicole spent several years with a technology consulting firm in the Seattle area. She also worked with the League of Conservation Voters where she contributed to its fundraising efforts, the capacity building of its state league partners, and the election of environmentally friendly candidates for public office. Nicole spends her free time cheering on the Sounders, playing co-rec softball, and traveling. Nicole holds a B.A. in English and Political Science from Seattle University.

Kaston Griffin

Kaston currently works for Microsoft as a Product Marketing Manager and is pursuing an MBA at the Michael G. Foster School of Business at the University of Washington as a 2017 candidate. Professionally, he specializes in marketing, with experience designing national programs for the Pacific Northwest and beyond, complex analytics, and supervised AI. Kaston believes that marketing boils down to something very simple: the art and science of building lasting relationships that deliver meaningful impact to those who need real solutions. Sustainable energy is a lifelong passion of his and joining the board of Northwest SEED is his answer to the famous questions: “If not us, who? If not now, when?” The answer is Northwest SEED and right now. Kaston is thrilled to join an expert team committed to bringing exciting and sustainable energy solutions to the Pacific Northwest.

Working With You

Attend an Event

Northwest SEED provides educational events to community members to support renewable energy project development.

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Find More Resources

Northwest SEED provides publications, guidebooks and web tools that help communities pursue clean energy projects.