Our Team

Andrea Axel, Executive Director

ph: 206.267.2212 | email: andrea at sparknorthwest.org

Andrea is passionate about bringing clean energy to the Pacific Northwest and partnering with communities experiencing inequity to develop solutions. Prior to joining Spark Northwest Andrea directed a statewide social justice grant program at the Legal Foundation of Washington. She is an attorney who has represented multinational corporations and also low-income families seeking affordable housing. Andrea is experienced advocating for systemic change, building public-private partnerships and bringing communities together to align strategy around common goals. She received her J.D. from the University of Michigan and her B.A. from Stanford University. She is also a graduate of the Equal Justice Leadership Academy, which hones advocacy skills to address racism and poverty. A native of Oregon and long-time Seattle resident, Andrea loves exploring the region. On weekends you might find her hiking in the Cascades, walking her dog on Alki Beach or sampling a fresh hops brew in Eastern Washington.

Amy Bettle, Project Manager

email: Amy at sparknorthwest.org

Amy manages Spark Northwest’s Solarize and Energize programs, leading group purchase programs for solar and energy efficiency. She also conducts community education on renewable energy and advocates for policies supporting a just transition to clean energy. Most recently, Amy worked at the World Food Prize Foundation to coordinate an international conference on global food security formulated to drive food systems discourse and transformation. She collaborated with stakeholders across sectors and geographies to convene diverse thought leaders and mobilize policy action. Prior, she served Peace Corps Zambia as an Agriculture and Forestry Extension Agent until the global Covid-19 evacuation. As a Gilman Scholar, Amy conducted a research project for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome, Italy. The project evaluated the sustainability of commercializing in vitro meat, and Amy focused on the environmental impacts of this nascent technology. Amy graduated from Iowa State University with a double degree in Environmental Science, B.S. and Event Management, B.S. Outside of work, Amy enjoys building community through cooking, outdoor exploring, coordinating mutual aid, and organizing for racial and climate justice.

Jeanne Currie, Development Associate

email: Jeanne at sparknorthwest.org

Jeanne supports various fundraising and communications projects at Spark Northwest, working to advance the vision of an equitable clean energy future. She is interested in all things community and environment and has previously held a similar role at Sail Sand Point in Magnuson Park. She has also served as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the food access program at Pike Place Market and most recently worked as an English teaching assistant through a Fulbright grant. While earning her Bachelor of Science in Global Resource Systems at the University of British Columbia, Jeanne focused on sustainability, agriculture, and community development. She is excited to be on the Spark Northwest team learning all about solar power and how a transition to clean energy can also be a transition of wealth and power to marginalized communities. At the end of the work day you can find her on a bicycle, having a picnic, planting things, or reading a book.

Mia Devine, Project Manager

ph: 206.267.2213 | email: mia at sparknorthwest.org

Mia manages multiple clean energy projects including our Rural Renewables Program. Mia has over 16 years of experience working in the renewable energy industry conducting technical feasibility studies of utility-scale wind farms, due diligence reviews of wind turbine supply and maintenance contracts, project management of proposals and budgets, and hands-on installation of residential solar and wind power equipment. Most recently, Mia worked with wind project developers, government agencies, multinational corporations, investors, tribal communities, and utilities at the global consulting firm Det Norske Veritas. Mia also co-founded a national group encouraging the participation and advancement of women in the wind energy industry and completed volunteer work in Central and South America where she helped to install and maintain solar electric lighting systems in rural communities. Mia holds a B.A. in Mathematics from Grinnell College and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. When not at work, you can find Mia tending either her urban farm in Seattle, or her rural farm in Bellingham.

Mikhaila Gonzales, Project Manager

Ph: 206.267.2213; email: Mikhaila at sparknorthwest.org

Mikhaila has led the Access Solar program at Spark Northwest since January 2017. While mastering the business side of solar energy development, she has developed partnerships with Seattle City Light, Kitsap Bank, Washington State Housing Finance Commission, and has cultivated mutually accountable relationships with Emerald Cities, Byrd Barr Place and ECOSS. She also supports Solar Plus State Energy Strategy work across Oregon and Washington, and is driven to find energy solutions that work for local communities hit first and worst by climate impacts. She serves on the Emerald Cities’ Executive Committee, Seattle City Light Review Panel (Position 2) and Seattle Office of Sustainability’s 100% Renewable Energy Workgroup. Mikhaila holds a B.A. In International Development & Social Change, M.A. in Environmental Science & Policy, Sustainable Building Advisor Certification, and has participated in a Social Justice Fund Giving Project, People’s Institute Undoing Racism workshop, Equity Matters, Environmental Leadership Program, Asian Pacific Islander Community Leaders Program and Fulbright Fellowship.

Gwen Heisterkamp, Finance and Operations Manager

ph: 206.328.2441 | email: gwen at sparknorthwest.org

Gwen manages the internal functions for our team, including finance, operations and human resources. Her 15-year career in the environmental sector spans a variety of roles within non-profit organizations and public agencies. Most recently, Gwen spent nine years at the NW Energy Coalition, where she managed the organization’s finances, operations and grants. She has also worked as an environmental educator, a salmon-recovery planner, a volunteer coordinator, a native plant nursery manager and an outreach coordinator. She holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies/Environmental Education from Huxley College at Western Washington University. In her spare time, Gwen can be found practicing and teaching yoga, gardening in her community p-patch, and exploring the great outdoors.

Linda Irvine, Program Director

ph: 206.267.2215 | email: linda at sparknorthwest.org

Linda provides organizational leadership of Spark Northwest’s programs, finances, and staff. She directs the development of community energy strategies, designing new programs and maximizing synergies across our program areas to serve more communities. She manages the Northwest Solar Communities initiative to standardize and streamline rooftop solar installations in the Northwest and has authored several nationally distributed guides on Community Solar and Solarize program design. Linda began her energy career with an internship at Renewable Northwest Project, creating the first survey of utility green power offerings for the Pacific Northwest. She subsequently worked as a Program Manager at PECI helping to create and deploy on-the-ground efficiency programs for the grocery sector, and as the Community Resource Conservation Manager for the city of Langley, Washington. Linda also serves on the board of Island Community Solar, a project she helped implement in her community. Linda holds a B.A. in Russian and East European Studies from Yale University and a teaching certificate from U.C. Berkeley’s Bay Area Writing Project. When Linda isn’t commuting to Seattle, she spends her time on Whidbey Island, where she lives with her husband. Linda is an avid runner, voracious reader, occasional cyclist and film buff who loves to find a new, obscure movie title at the library.

Daniel Poppe, Communications & Development Director

ph: 206.267.2216 | email: daniel at sparknorthwest.org

As Communications and Development Director, Daniel is responsible for planning and executing a full range of fundraising activities, including individual giving and donor management, events, fundraising campaigns. He also manages Spark Northwest’s communications through the website, email, and social media. Before joining Spark Northwest, Daniel worked in salmon and steelhead recovery with the Seattle-based nonprofit Long Live the Kings. He also spent two years at the Cascade Bicycle Club Education Foundation building support for local bicycling programs. Daniel received a B.A. in Political Science from the University of British Columbia and an M.P.A. from the University of Washington Evans School for Public Policy and Governance. Daniel served in the U.S. Peace Corps in China and loves spending time with his wife, daughter, and wildly energetic dog.

Working With You

Attend an Event

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

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Find More Resources

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