Medford Energy & Environment Committee

Mayor Michael McGlynn created the Medford Energy Committee (MEC) in November 2010 to augment the city’s effort to become a municipal leader in energy efficiency, conservation and renewable energy.  The Medford Energy Committee has taken on the work of the Medford Clean Energy Committee and the Medford Energy Task Force. Each member of the committee is appointed by the Mayor. The Medford Energy Committee was renamed and the scope expanded to be the Energy & Environment Committee in 2017 by Mayor Stephanie Burke.

Medford Energy & Environment Committee Photo Taken February 4, 2013. Bob Paine, Susan Altman, John Rogers, Kathleen McKenna, Jeff Goldsmith, Elisabeth Krautscheid, J.R. Siegel, Brett Sullivan, Jonathan Hunt, Rick Sacco, Curtis Tuden, Fred Laskey, Carey Duques, Mayor Michael J. McGlynn, and Alicia Hunt

 “Our mission is to promote policies and actions that improve energy efficiency, encourage conservation, and increase the use of renewable energy to meet our present needs while considering future generations of the Medford community.”

The Medford Energy & Environment Committee works in conjunction with the Medford Office of Energy and the Environment to support the City’s goals of energy independence and environmental stewardship. The Committee provides additional technical and consulting expertise to the City and organizes energy and environmental related projects, events and programs to benefit the residents of Medford. The Committee is comprised of Medford residents who bring a variety of expertise to the city, particularly in the areas of energy efficiency, clean energy, community outreach and education.

Projects that the Committee has been involved with include the Idle Free campaign, the Solarize Medford initiative, the Go Green Residential home energy assessment program, and the Medford Wind Turbine. They are active partners in the planning and organizing of each year’s Harvest Your Energy Festival and the Medford Green Awards. Members of the Energy & Environment Committee all contribute to the Medford Energy Committee Blog.

The Tide is Rising and So Are We: Hope in Hard Times (Educational Webinar)

On November 1, 2023, the Medford Energy & Environment Committee and Tufts Energy Group hosted a webinar surrounding climate change:

Hope can be hard to come by when facing something as existential as climate change. Long-time environmental organizer and co-founder of the Resilient Mystic Collaborative, Julie Wormser, speaks of how Mystic River communities (including Medford) are successfully working together to bring more beauty, safety, and fairness to the people and places most at risk from extreme weather.

Energy & Environment Educational Symposium

On November 18, 2020 the Energy & Environment Committee hosted an educational webinar, co-hosted by Tufts Energy Group. The webinar featured three talks by expert panelists who spoke on solar energy, tree management, and transportation. View a recording of the webinar in full here, or watch the videos by topic below. 

  1. Introduction and Solar Options: Getting on the Road to 100% Renewable Energy 
  2. Urban Trees: Benefits to Building and Maintaining a Healthy Urban Tree Canopy
  3. Future of Transportation: Strategies for a Low-Carbon Region 


Committee Members

Benjamin “Benji” Hiller is a now retired lawyer. He has a Masters degree in biology/ecology. He spent most of his career engaged in toxic tort litigation, specializing in representing children harmed by lead poisoning. Back in the 1970s and 1980s, he was part of the Clamshell Alliance which fought to prevent the construction of the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant and which brought the dangers of nuclear power to the attention of the world.

Barry Ingber has spent most of the past four decades with non-profit organizations that serve low-income communities and that work for a more sustainable and affordable energy future. Most recently, he managed energy programs for Tri-City Community Action Program. Previously, as Executive Director of MassEnergy, he founded the state’s first and largest green power program and the nation’s first non-profit renewable energy coop.

Lauretta James is a real estate agent and Realtor®. She works within the Committee to design and promote energy, sustainability, and environmental programs and events to educate and benefit residents and businesses. Her background includes working in the elevator industry, event organizing, and art and design. She was previously President of the Massachusetts Elevator Safety Association.

Kathleen McKenna is an environmental engineer at Commercial Construction Consulting Inc. (C3), which deals with LEED and sustainability consulting, energy audits, and implementation. She is the secretary of the New England Chapter of The Association of Energy Engineers. Kathleen served in the role of community solar coach for the very successful 2013 Solarize Mass Program, when she coordinated the community outreach process, answered questions from residents and businesses, and was the main point of contact for the community members. 

Luke McKneally is a Licensed Architect and Certified Passive House Consultant in Massachusetts. He has over 25 years of experience in commercial, institutional, and residential building design and construction, including 6 years in commercial and residential energy efficiency consulting, and 8 years in renewable energy systems design and project management. He is an Energy Engineer at ICF, implementing MassSave Passive House incentives for multifamily development in Massachusetts to encourage best practices and the highest performance possible with minimal project cost implications.
Martha Ondras holds a Master’s degree in environmental health at Tufts. She is a research associate at the Health Effects Institute (HEI) in Boston working on air quality research. HEI provides high quality, trusted science for cleaner air and better health. Prior to pursuing a second career in environmental health, she retired from the post of Director of Design at Harvard Business School.

Acting Chair
Bob Paine is a Certified Consulting Meteorologist and Qualified Environmental Professional. He has experience in meteorology and air pollution studies and consulting. Associate Vice President at AECOM, a company that focuses on areas of air quality consulting, engineering, and compliance, climate adaptation, and PFAS mitigation. Bob has been a member of this committee and legacy municipal committees (e.g., wind turbine committee) since 2004.
Jessica Parks has a background in sustainable design and urban planning she has experience in developing greenhouse gas reduction plans, driving energy efficiency projects, and establishing energy reporting protocols. She is currently a Senior Project Manager at MIT for projects under the campus-wide Greenhouse Gas (GHG) program. Jessica hopes to utilize her experience and expertise to help create opportunities for community engagement and education in support of a more sustainable and resilient Medford.
John P. Rogers has an extensive background in energy conversion (motors, batteries, chargers, electric vehicles, and the power grid). With Solectria, he worked on the electrical system for the “Solectria Sunrise” EV and on their Grid Tied Solar Inverters. With Azure Dynamics, he worked on Ford E250 Electric Van Prototype, and the onboard charging system for the Ford Transit Connect Electric. He now works for Instrumentation Laboratory in Bedford, MA.
Paul Taslimi is a senior scientist at Merck Research Laboratories Boston. Paul has been an active scientist for 40 years. Paul has a BSc and MSc degrees in Chemistry and Biochemistry respectively from Canada. Paul has a deep interest in mitigating the climate crisis through science education and raising awareness at the local level and hopes that his years of experience in science can be beneficial to the Medford community in addressing the climate crisis.
Sara Singh is a wilderness and wildlife conservation professional. She has an MS in Environmental Policy & Planning from Tufts and an MA in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School. She has conducted research on PFAS contamination in the US (for Onvector), climate policy progress in New England (for Synapse Energy Economics), conservation monitoring technologies, and local riverine issues. She also recently consulted for an emerging NGO (Nawi) that aims to rewild degraded areas in the Peruvian Amazon.
Lois Grossman became a Medford resident in 1982. Her interest in the environment led her to many good opportunities to serve the community with like-minded colleagues. She served on the Trash and Recycling Commission and the Medford Wind Turbine committee. She was an active member of the Brooks Estate Preservation Association, and most recently served on the Medford Solid Waste Task Force. Lois taught Spanish at Tufts for many years and is now a freelance Spanish editor.
Dan Pappo has an extensive background in energy markets, with an emphasis on renewable energy and battery storage optimization and operations in wholesale markets.  He previously managed the short-term trading desk in North America for one of the largest renewable developers in the world, and is currently focused on grid level battery storage for Equilibrium Energy.  Dan has a deep-seated interest in discovering high-impact initiatives at the local level to help mitigate climate change and accelerate the energy transition, while maintaining the wonderful natural spaces in Medford for future generations.
Brenda Pike is a Climate Policy Planner for the City of Medford, with 10 years of experience with building decarbonization. At Natural Resources Defense Council she worked on the City of Boston’s building performance standards (BERDO), and at National Grid she worked on the Mass Save residential energy efficiency programs. She’s an alum of the UEP program at Tufts. 
Alicia Hunt is the Director of Planning, Development, and Sustainability. Alicia started working with the City in 2010 as the Energy Efficiency Coordinator and has managed extensive energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for the City’s buildings. She facilitated the City’s Green Communities designation and works to bring in energy and environment related grants and programs to the City of Medford. Alicia is a Medford resident who brings her green knowledge to other Medford organizations in her spare time.
  Will Sherwood is a student naturalist and outdoor educator. With an educational background in environmental law and policy from Tufts, he now works to raise compassion for the natural world amongst his students. Will believes firmly in the power of small localized action to create difference, and hopes to create systems of community engagement to best adapt to the climate crisis.