Henry Dykema, President
Henry Dykema owns Sundance Solar Systems, a renewable energy business specializing in the design, sale, and installation of photovoltaic and wind energy systems. He has lived off the grid since 1992 and started Sundance Solar Systems in 1994. He has BS in Wildlife Biology from the University of Montana, Missoula and an MS in Wildlife Biology from the University of Massachusettes, Amherst. He is a NABCEP certified renewable energy provider specializing in all aspects of the field. Henry has been involved with MREA since its beginning and has served on the board since 2010.
Dave Ryan, Secretary
David Ryan is a licensed mechanical engineer in Montana. He is a founding member of MREA and has served the organization as president and as secretary. Dave has been involved with energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, programs and policy for over 22 years. Dave has been involved with renewable electric generation projects from less than one kilowatt in capacity to 135 megawatts capacity. He has performed hundreds of energy audits, saving millions of kilowatt-hours of energy. Dave has worked for the Montana Power Company and the National Center for Appropriate Technology, and currently offers energy consulting services.
Patrick Judge, Treasurer
Pat Judge has advocated for clean energy policies in Montana since 1996. Most of that time was spent working for the Montana Environmental Information Center, as lobbyist and energy program director. He served on the Governor’s Climate Change Advisory Committee, the Helena Climate Change Task Force, and continues to serve on NorthWestern Energy’s USB Renewable Energy Advisory Committee. In 2000, he completed his master’s thesis on Montana’s misguided experiment with electric utility deregulation. Currently, he is employed as a physics instructor at Carroll College.
Orion Thornton, Vice President
Orion Thornton has been involved in the renewable energy industry for over ten years and currently owns and operates Onsite Energy, a solar electric design and installation firm based out of Bozeman, MT. In 2006 Orion earned an A.A.S. degree in Photovoltaic Installation and Design from San Juan College, followed by NABCEP Certification as a Solar PV Installation Professional in 2008. As a contract instructor with Solar Energy International (SEI), Orion teaches students from all over the world the basics of grid-tied and battery-based solar electric systems. Orion is a Montana native who grew up off-the grid and currently resides in a net-zero energy home, powered by solar electricity, solar hot water, and wood heat.
Brian Fadie is the Clean Energy Program Director at the Montana Environmental Information Center based in Helena. He has advocated for clean energy and energy efficiency policies at the local, state, and federal level, including lobbying the state legislature and working with state regulatory agencies. Brian completed his master’s degree in environmental policy from the University of Michigan where he focused on clean energy policy and project siting. He has previously advocated for clean energy development in both Washington D.C. and Nevada.
Chris is the director and co-founder of Sage Mountain Center, an off-grid, sustainably designed educational facility located in Whitehall, Montana. Sage Mountain Center’s mission is to promote personal and environmental awareness. For the last fifteen years Sage Mountain Center has provided consultation services, seminars and tours in everything from straw bale home building and cordwood construction to solar and wind power for thousands of students, homeowners, and businesses across the state. Chris’ avocations include playing drums for the Butte Symphony Orchestra and various jazz ensembles and competing nationally as a freestyle figure skater.
Dan is the owner of SBS Solar, a Hamilton based solar electric system integrator. He started his career in Photovoltaics with Solarex in 1983, one of the first US based volume manufactures. In 1985 he and his wife Becky started Sunelco, The Sun Electric Company, focused on designing and selling mail order solar systems to a predominantly off-grid customer base. Dan is a NABCEP certified installer with over five hundred residential and commercial systems on his resume. Dan has lived with off-grid as well as grid tied systems and believes deeply in energy sustainability. He is an avid outdoorsman and loves exploring and maintaining trails in the backcountry with his mules and buddies. He is a 3rd generation Montana environmental activist and enjoys working on his farm in the Bitterroot Valley. Dan received a B.S. in Resource Management from the University of Montana and maintains his commercial pilot and flight instructor certificates.
Dan Kenworthy is a Master Electrician and owner/operator of Kenworthy Electric, Inc. in Sheridan, Montana since 1996. A third generation Montana electrician, he has completed solar, electrical and generator projects for local residences, ranches, businesses, healthcare, educational and industrial facilities. When not consumed by his business and volunteer work he enjoys outdoor activities with his wife Heather and sons Luke and Colter, including water skiing, hunting, fishing, floating, snowmobiling, flying, snowshoeing, biking, hiking, camping, shooting, and geocaching.
Jeff L. Fox
Jeff is a native Montanan, wilderness lover, elk hunter, and backcountry skier deeply committed to clean energy solutions for Montana and the nation. He works as the Montana Policy Manager for Renewable Northwest Project, an organization dedicated to promoting the expansion of environmentally responsible renewable energy resources in the Northwest. He is experienced in advocating for renewable energy in regulatory proceedings, transmission planning venues, and state policy making. Jeff’s background includes working as a wilderness ranger in Colorado and Wyoming before moving to Washington, DC, to join The Wilderness Society where he worked on energy issues. He returned to Montana in 2007 to assist in the Montana Legacy Project, a successful $520 million dollar conservation purchase of 320,000 acres of private timber lands threatened by development and fragmentation.