New Jersey PACE is an initiative of the 501c3 nonprofit Possible Planet (incorporated as Center for Regenerative Community Solutions in 2013) that helps communities, including public, private, and nonprofit leaders, understand and implement the features and benefits of PACE.
Financing a Clean Energy Future
“Every building made efficient, resilient, and powered by clean energy.”
Our Mission is to facilitate the transition to clean energy in New Jersey, by educating our stakeholders about PACE financing, and financing eligible projects in municipalities throughout the state.
Trustees and Staff
Serial entrepreneur and nonprofit executive, designer/builder, conservation, and renewable energy expert. Formerly Senior Fellow at the Institute for Sustainable Enterprise, Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Jonathan has been helping catalyze action toward sustainable development in municipalities, communities, and businesses since the early 1970s. He consults to corporations of all sizes, nonprofits, municipal, state, and national governments, and colleges and universities. His expertise and interests include energy and environmental technologies, community financing mechanisms, local food systems, and renewable energy systems, along with sustainable innovation, entrepreneurship, community engagement, and transformational leadership for social change. Jonathan has been an entrepreneur, consultant, educator, community organizer, policy analyst, journalist, and researcher in several fields of environmental and social change. He worked for the Federal Government of Canada in policy, research, program management, and evaluation of energy and environmental issues. Jonathan ran a solar design and construction firm pioneering green building techniques, urban agriculture, and other areas of sustainability, in both Canada and the U.S.
Jonathan was a founder of the Sustainable Business Accelerator and has served on the boards of several nonprofits. He was a Senior Fellow of the Institute for Sustainable Enterprise at Fairleigh Dickinson University (2006-2016). He holds a master’s degree in sociology from York University in Toronto and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He is a dual citizen (U.S. and Canada) who has lived and worked in multiple countries under a range of socioeconomic circumstances.
Jonathan is also responsible for proposing legislation regarding small hydro in New Jersey, promoting Community Energy Aggregation and PACE programs, and consulting to businesses, communities, and nonprofits on sustainability. He has authored a number of articles and web sites addressing a range of topics, from the science of climate change to the development of new currencies and new communities. He was a keynote speaker at the Financial Permaculture Summit 2013 in Homestead, FL.
Director of Business Development
Business development consultant, former Deloitte Sustainability Practice Business Development leader, Yale MBA
Victoria is the Co-Founder of Possible Planet, aka the Center for Regenerative Community Solutions (CRCS) and Director of Development for Regenerative Financing and New Jersey PACE (NJPACE). She speaks publicly and has been published on the subject of sustainability (“Who Will Be the Rock Stars of Corporate Sustainability?” Science, Wisdom, and the Future: Humanity’s Quest for a Flourishing Earth, Collins Foundation Press, 2012).
Victoria Zelin co-founded New Jersey PACE (NJPACE), which has championed the passage of C-PACE (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy) legislation in NJ since 2012. NJPACE is now one of several projects of the larger nonprofit, Possible Planet, where Victoria is Director of Development. Possible Planet’s mission is to regenerate communities using financing and other Sustainable Local Economic Development tools. To accelerate carbon reduction in areas where C-PACE is not available or appropriate, Possible Planet makes available other financing structures as well as alternatives developed within its Regenerative Financing division.
Earlier, Victoria developed new business for Deloitte Consulting’s Sustainability Practice and sold transformational organization change services to large and small businesses. In her early career, she worked to preserve community landmarks in New York City. Victoria is a founding member of the New Jersey Sustainable Business Council.
Victoria has an MBA from Yale’s School of Management with a specialization in organizational development and a BA in cultural anthropology from Duke University.
Director of Finance
Business and program development professional with experience as an Investment banker, licensed NJ land use planner, and former NJ local elected official. Gus is also principal of First Enterprise Consulting, LLC, a project finance advisory firm in central New Jersey. The firm specializes in Alternative and Renewable Energy Facilities. He consults on projects from Concept – to Development Management – to Financial Structuring/Proformas – to Team Coordination – and to Equity and Debt Execution.
Gus’s recent positions include Business Development Manager at a leading Commercial Solar Design/Build company and as a Project Manager for a prominent non-profit corporation in Trenton, NJ.
Prior to these, he served in leadership positions at Citicorp Securities, PNC Capital Markets, RBC Capital Markets, and BB&T Capital Markets – all specializing in project development and finance. Gus has held licenses issued by the SEC/FINRA in all 50 states, with Series 7, Series 63, and Series 79 designations.
He holds a BA from Princeton University, and a Master of Architecture and Urban Planning, also from Princeton University.
Trustees at Large
Founder/CEO at TrueValueMetrics developing Multi Dimension Impact Accounting
Peter Burgess has formal training in engineering, economics, and accountancy which has given him the background to understand problems from many perspectives and introduce effective practical solutions.
The same skills that were effective in the corporate environment were also very effective in planning and evaluation in the field of international socio-economic development. Peter did many assignments for the World Bank, the UN (mainly UNDP) as well as private commercial clients. Worked in more than 50 countries over a period of more than 20 years.
Peter has used good basic accounting and key item control to measure performance and identify profit improvement possibilities. Structured metrics so that everyone was pulling in the same direction to achieve corporate goals. Used similar techniques to improve factory performance and manage costs on large construction projects.
Background and education:
Read engineering and economics at Cambridge University. Trained as a Chartered Accountant with Coopers and Lybrand (PriceWaterhouseCoopers) in London. About 20 years of professional and corporate management experience including VP Manufacturing and VP CFO. Also assignments for the World Bank, IFC, UN agencies, and others in the international relief and development sector for another 20 years. Experience with management information system development in corporate, government, and NGO sectors.
Sustainability Change Agent
Matt Polsky is a sustainability change agent and Senior Fellow for Sustainability Innovation and Multidisciplinary Thought at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Institute for Sustainable Enterprise.
He has unique cross-sector experience working in business, government, environmental groups, and as an adjunct professor. He was the Sustainability Team Leader at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. He has taught sustainability and energy courses at six New Jersey colleges. He was a marketing manager at AT&T Microelectronics’ Energy Division, a market researcher at Lane Bryant, and a marketing coordinator at BBD&O. Matt was co-chair of one town’s Green Team, advised another town’s Green Team, is on two Sustainable Jersey Working Groups, and is advising Sustainable Jersey in their development of “Gold” level certification for municipalities. He has also worked with a number of municipalities to preserve open space.
As a perpetual student, he has a BA in Psychology from Rutgers College; an MBA in Economics, an MA in Humanities & Social Thought, and a Certificate in Global Affairs, all from NYU; and completed the Corporate Environmental Leadership Seminar at Yale. He has taken additional courses with some of the giants of the sustainability field.
Rich Energy Solutions
Hope Trisler is a rising junior at The College of William & Mary pursuing a double major in Geology and Environmental Policy. Her interest in sustainability and the environment started with her involvement in a student-run “freecycle” for the City of Summit. She has thoroughly enjoyed courses at William & Mary on climate, alternative energy, and watershed studies. Hope aspires to combat climate change and work toward a sustainable energy future.
Anthony Curto is a student at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering. Along with this he is also working towards his MBA through the STEM Path to the MBA at the University of Alabama. Anthony is a member of a research team in the Chemistry Department at The University of Alabama, studying water oxidation catalysts. The main goal in this research is to develop organometallic catalysts to split water efficiently; since hydrogen is can be used as alternative clean-burning fuel. He works to synthesize and test new catalysts to discover their potential in this field and help lead to new developments. He wants to continue his education in alternate and reusable energy while also becoming familiar with the business side of energy. He is working towards earning his MBA and Chemical Engineering degree in order to pursue a career in the energy industry.
Abhinav Saikia is a rising junior at Cornell University majoring in Operations Research Engineering with a minor in Computer Science. He is interested in alternative energy and the application of technology to alleviate living conditions. He worked on projects to purify drinking water in rural India and has conducted research on using RFID tags for farming and irrigation. He also campaigned to promote sustainable practices such as recycling, ban of plastics and conserving water.
Abhinav worked as a web designer and Pre Sales Specialist for Oracle products at Princeton IT Services and was responsible for generating leads and sales in the educational and corporate sectors. He has pre-sales certification for Oracle Database 11g, Oracle Golden Gate, Oracle Database Appliance, and Oracle Data Integration. Besides work, Abhinav is a musician who has been playing the guitar for the last 11 years. He is also a DJ for Cornell Radio, peer advisor in engineering, founder of step by step, and a recipient of the US Presidential Volunteer Service Bronze Award for volunteer service.
Shira is a rising senior at Vassar College, majoring in Science, Technology and Society, a multidisciplinary field that focuses on the technical and social dimensions of science and technology. She is also working towards a minor in Computer Science. Shira recently studied abroad in Vietnam, Morocco and Bolivia in the fall of 2014, under a program that focused on climate change, environmental policy, and economic development. Shira hails from Jakarta, Indonesia and Manila, Philippines.
Akshit is a rising sophomore at the University of Richmond in Virginia, planning on majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Management and Accounting. He is an avid soccer fan and has represented his high school team a number of times. He likes to learn new things and enjoys mentoring and helping people. With a knack for social media and some experience with CRM databases, he intends to play a part in helping New Jersey Pace achieve what they set out to do.
Christie Brennan is a senior at Stockton University majoring in Environmental Studies with a minor in Writing. Previous to becoming a student of Stockton, Christie studied writing for two years at Goddard College in Vermont and attended several writing conferences such as Breadloaf and AWP. Christie is now the event manager & communications coordinator for the student-run farm at Stockton, an active member of S.A.V.E., (Stockton’s highly-involved environmental club, boasting over 30 years of student commitment to conservation), and a bee-keeper/social media strategist for the Stockton University Apiary which seeks not only to manage its own on-campus hives but to educate the public on the complex world of honey bees and their absolute importance to us as human beings. She has also worked as a teaching assistant for the Environmental Citizenship course and is currently taking on a major project collecting and analyzing data to better understand the overall health of Stockton’s forests as outlined in the forest management plan. Christie is very passionate about the natural sciences and has enjoyed many classes as an undergraduate including natural resource policy and law, pollution and regulation, grant writing, land-use planning, and environmental statistics. Her interest in non-profits was born during her time playing roller derby for the Red Bank Roller Vixens, an organization that put on events and games to raise money for important causes such as breast cancer awareness. During this time, she realized the enormous good a small group of dedicated members with a common goal could do. As an intern of NJ Pace, Christie intends to put her background in writing to work by combining it with her education on environmental systems and issues to increase the presence of clean energy and sustainable opportunities in her home state.
Cory is a recent graduate of the Pingry School and will be continuing her studies at Harvard in the fall. Her major is currently undecided, but she is considering a career in law. She has greatly enjoyed her time with New Jersey PACE and hopes to continue working for clean energy and sustainability in the future.
David Ballan is a Ramapo College Graduate as of May 2014 with a degree in Environmental Studies. He is developing skills in interpersonal communication, lateral thinking, and networking, in hopes of utilizing these skills toward a greener future. He aspires toward making efficiency and sustainability a convenient alternative to conventional energy uses.
Cathy Chen will be a freshman at Princeton University this Fall and intends to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree in Computer Science. She is also interested in the interaction of technology and society and the ways in which technology can affect public policy and decision-making as it applies to societal issues. She hopes to explore many facets of both technology and society in college.
Alison Gibson is a senior at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental studies with a minor in environmental writing & rhetoric. Her education has its roots in the social sciences, humanities and natural sciences as they relate to environmental issues as well as a focus in how communication and social systems shape our understandings of the environment. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in public relations and hopes to make connections between PR work, environmental issues and sustainability actions.
Kyle is a student at The Pennsylvania State University located in University Park, Pennsylvania. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Energy Engineering. He is also pursuing minors in Energy Business and Finance, along with Energy Environmental and Mineral Economics. His background and studies incorporate elements of fuel science, renewable energy and electrochemical engineering and business, finance, and management of the energy market. This includes elements in the energy industry such as production, processing, storage, distribution, and utilization of energy. More specifically, his studies in the business portion of the energy market include financing, investments, and management concepts applied to private sector organizations whose operation emphasizes the earth and its environment, the energy and mineral industries, or the development of new and enhanced materials.
Kyle has also received a Certificate in CADD from Delaware County Community College. This program has given him working knowledge to manage computer systems for drawing production, information storage, retrieval, and communication in the engineering and design workspaces. This includes computer-aided drafting skills applied to manufacturing, mechanical, and architectural engineering.
Kyle’s main passion is for a sustainable future by means of renewable energy and energy efficiency. Most recently Kyle attended Energy Path “Our Global Sustainable Energy Future” Energy Conference and Workshop to further develop his interests in this area and to gain hands-on knowledge. He is also in the process of receiving his LEED Green Associate certification to gain a deep understanding of the most current green building principles and practices, and show a clear commitment to professional growth in the field. He has also become a strong advocate for conservation and efficient efficiency in organizations at Penn State University by taking on positions such as Energy chair and Sustainability Chair.
Kyle Van Dyke
Kyle Van Dyke is a recent graduate from Ramapo College of New Jersey with a Bachelor’s degree in Contemporary Arts and a minor in Environmental Studies. His background includes coursework in video production, advertising, communications, marketing, psychology, and sustainability. He has volunteered with the Mahwah Environmental Volunteers Organization, where he learned about pollution, community outreach, and organic farming. He has also worked for Amberjack Solar Energy, where he learned about the solar industry and gained experience in sales. He plans to work in sales/marketing for the interiorscaping industry, and says he will always be passionate about sustainability.