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.

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.

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.

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 has two energetic dogs with his wife.

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.

Jill Eikenhorst, Project Manager

ph: 206.457.5403 | email: jill at sparknorthwest.org

Jill focuses on managing and delivering community education on renewable energy. Most recently, Jill served as the Development and Communications Coordinator for Mountaineers Books. Prior to that, Jill coordinated development, communications and operations for the Seattle chapter of Ashoka, an international organization supporting social entrepreneurs. She has also held two AmeriCorps positions coordinating sustainability programs for the Phinney Neighborhood Association, City Fruit and EOS Alliance. Jill received a B.A. in English from the University of Puget Sound and holds certificates in sustainable energy, grantwriting and strategic communications. Jill bikes everywhere, and enjoys camping, growing veggies, and cooking up sustainable meals.

Policy Advisors

Alexia Kelly

email: alexia at sparknorthwest.org

Alexia advises Spark Northwest’s policy engagement at the Oregon Legislature and the PUC. She is the Founder and CEO of Electric Capital Management (ECM). Through targeted advisory and management services ECM specializes in designing and executing the next generation of solutions to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Alexia also serves as the co-chair of the LEDS Global Partnership Finance Working Group and as the Secretariat of the Global Green Bonds Partnership. She also serves on the Renewable Energy Advisory Council of the Energy Trust of Oregon and is appointed to the Hood River County Energy Council.

She has held roles at the U.S. State Department, at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the World Resources Institute (WRI), and The Climate Trust. Alexia holds a B.A. in Planning, Public Policy and Management, a Master of Community and Regional Planning (MCRP) and a Master of Public Administration (MPA), from the University of Oregon.

David Mendoza

email: david at sparknorthwest.org

As a policy and political consultant with a specialty in the intersection of state and local governments and emerging industries, David advises Spark Northwest on distributed clean energy policy in Washington. Currently, David is the Director of Legislative and Government Affairs for Front and Centered, a WA statewide coalition of organizations rooted in communities of color and people with lower incomes focused on environmental justice. From 2014 through 2017, David served as a Senior Policy Advisor in the Seattle Mayor’s Office of Policy and Innovation. His policy portfolio included the development of 11 city ordinances including; cannabis regulations, labor standards, and implementation of the Seattle Race and Social Justice Initiative.

Prior to working in the Mayor’s office, David served as a Policy Counsel for the House Democratic Caucus in Olympia, WA. While there, he advised Democratic Representatives on issues related to the Labor & Workforce Development Committee and the Government Accountability & Oversight Committee. His other experience includes working at Puget Sound Sage where he wrote the first research report making the case for a $15 minimum wage at Sea-Tac Airport. His volunteer experience includes serving as a Commissioner for the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission from 2011-2014 and as the 2014 President of the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington. He is a graduate of Pitzer College and Seattle University School of Law.

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.