- Youth Action
Board of Directors
Jayni Chase is the founder of the Center for Environmental Education, which provides K-12 teachers and students with resources and materials to build environmental education programs. Jayni is currently spearheading two ambitious green school initiatives, GREEN Community Schools, which creates model green schools in cities across the country, and Energy Efficient Schools, in partnership with National Wildlife Federation and Serious Materials. She serves on several boards, including Friends of the Earth, the US Green Building Council Center for Green Schools, the NY Harbor School and Green My Parents. She chairs NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s Green Schools Working Group and has been awarded the Audubon Women in Conservation Award and the Thorne Ecological Institute Environmental Award. Jayni is a presenter for Al Gore’s Climate Project and is a regular participant at the Clinton Global Initiative.
Jim has been involved in the development, construction, financing and operation of utility-scale renewable energy facilities for over 20 years. He is currently Vice President and General Counsel for Orion Energy Group LLC, a wind and solar energy company based in Oakland, California. He previously served as Vice President and General Counsel for Kenetech Corporation and its wind energy subsidiary, Kenetech Windpower. Jim was also Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at Catellus Development Corporation, a commercial real estate developer based in San Francisco.
Jim was a member of the initial Board of Directors of the American Wind Wildlife Institute (AWWI) from 2008 to 2010. AWWI is a first-of-its-kind collaboration between 20 of the nation’s top science-based conservation and environmental groups and wind energy companies. Its purpose is to facilitate timely and responsible development of wind energy while protecting wildlife and wildlife habitat.
Before entering the wind energy business, Jim was a corporate lawyer at law firms in San Francisco and New York. He received a law degree from New York University, and a Bachelor of Science degree from MIT.
Jim enjoys hiking, jogging and foreign travel with his wife and three children.
Michael Haas, Chairman of the Board
Michael Haas is the Founder and CEO of Orion Renewable Energy Group LLC (Orion), Co-Founder of RDC Developments Ltd. (RDC), and the Founder of Alliance For Climate Education (ACE).
Orion, headquartered in Oakland, CA, was formed in 1998 and became an early pioneer in the development of low cost, utility scale renewable energy. The Company specializes in the development, finance, and construction of wind energy projects in the United States. RDC, headquartered in the U.K., was formed in 1997 to help achieve commitments set by the United Kingdom for new alternative energy generation. Wind energy projects developed by Orion and RDC generate enough zero-carbon electricity to meet the annual electricity needs of approximately 1,500,000 homes. Prior to forming Orion and RDC, Michael held executive positions with KENETECH Corporation, and served as an aerodynamicist with the McDonnell Douglas Corporation.
ACE was formed in 2008 to educate and inspire young people to break through the challenge of climate change. ACE believes that achieving a safe and stable climate in our lifetime requires the ideas, action, and influence of young people. In its first 4 years, ACE educators have reached nearly 1,600,000 high school students in the United States.
Michael received his Bachelor's Degree in Aerospace Engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology, and his Master's Degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Stanford University.
Michael lives in Northern California with his wife and three children. He spends his free time outdoors with his family.
Matt Lappe, Executive Director
Since 2008, Matt has been integral in growing ACE’s scale and impact. In his previous role as Director of Education, he ensured scientific credibility of all ACE resources and convened ACE’s Science Advisory Board. He also headed evaluation efforts to measure ACE’s impact, oversaw the science training of ACE staff and managed ACE’s Teacher Engagement program to help bring the best climate science into the classroom.
After receiving BS and MS degrees from Stanford University’s Earth Systems program, he studied paleoclimate and environmental hydrology throughout Patagonia, Vietnam and Cambodia. Upon his return to California, he taught at a high school in Mendocino County where he headed the science and social studies departments. Before joining ACE, Matt worked as an analyst for the Tomales Bay Institute where he worked on federal climate policy. He is a presenter for Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, and is currently completing an Executive MBA at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He lives in Berkeley with his wife and two dogs.
Jonah is an internationally recognized storyteller, author, designer and entrepreneur. As the co-founder and creative director of Free Range, Jonah has helped hundreds of social brands and causes break through the media din with campaigns built on sound storytelling strategies. His work on legendary viral videos like The Meatrix and The Story of Stuff series has brought key social issues to the attention of more than 60 million viewers and his interactive work has been honored with 'Best Of' awards three times at the standard-setting South By Southwest interactive festival.
Jonah’s passion lies in exploring the crossroads of ancient storytelling techniques, social responsibility and emerging technologies. His book Story Wars from Harvard Business Review Press calls on case studies from his own body of work and some of the most successful brands of all time to show how values-driven stories will not only revolutionize marketing, but represent humanity’s greatest hope for the future. Jonah and his work have been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, FOX News, Sundance Film Festival, NPR, The Colbert Report, and in FastCompany Magazine, which named him one of the 50 most influential social innovators. He lives in Oakland with his wife Chelsea, their daughter Mira, and son Orion.
Tim Sexton is a veteran executive with deep experience and relationships in content, marketing, technology, event production, retail distribution, public policy, and non-profits. Tim has served in senior creative, as well as executive operating and corporate development positions. He has founded and helped build successful companies. Over the course of his career, Sexton has been the beneficiary of close working relationships with a diverse number of exceptional business and government leaders, Nobel Laureates, scientists, authors, filmmakers, entrepreneurs, and rock stars. His career has included stints with motion picture studios, technology companies, record labels, ad agencies, government, elected officials, NFL teams, and Fortune 500 companies.
He is the founding partner of The Sexton Company with offices in Los Angeles and New York. The firm helps reposition and extend brands into better versions of themselves by creating verifiable and measurable corporate social responsibility programs linked to unique messaging and marketing platforms designed to create brand differentiation, transform cultures, increase shareholder value, and a build a sustainable future. The firm’s clients (past and present) include public utilities, pro sports franchises, healthcare systems, non-profits, government agencies, and emerging technology companies.
Mr. Sexton is an Emmy Award winner with groundbreaking transmedia achievements. He was Executive Producer of Live 8 – the largest music event in history aggregating a global broadcast audience of 3 billion! As a result of Live 8, the leaders of the G8 nations changed global policy on debt relief and HIV/AIDS treatment for all affected children in the world’s poorest countries. In another effort to create a better world, Tim was a producer of American Idol Gives Back, television’s defining charity event, raising $80 million in a single night! Earlier in his career, Tim was a senior executive at Columbia/Tri-Star Pictures and at Fox. Over the years, he has been a creative consultant to Warner Brothers, Universal, MGM, Paramount, Disney and Intermedia. Sexton was also a leading provider of music for motion pictures and television where he collaborated in Grammy winners, groundbreaking TV, box-office blockbusters, and #1 records including work with Madonna, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Bob Dylan, Crosby-Stills-Nash, Peter Gabriel, Aerosmith, UB-40, and others. Later, Mr. Sexton was EVP of Alliance Entertainment Corp, one of the country’s largest home entertainment supply-chain management and distribution companies. He was also the President of Digital On-Demand, a leading edge retail services technology firm. Sexton is a corporate board member of the Environmental Media Association, a director of the Alliance for Climate Education, a director of Seven Arrows Elementary School, an advisor to the Liberty Hill Foundation. He was the creator of MTV’s Feel the Power and a long-time director of Rock the Vote. He is the Southern California co-founder of E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs). Tim lives in Pacific Palisades, CA with his wife and their teenage son.
Pic has dedicated his career to preserving our environment. Drawing on a diverse background in education, business consulting, management and environmental science, Pic brings a mixture of experience to play in developing and leading ACE’s strategy and organizational development. He believes education is foundational to creating any positive change in the world.
Formerly the Executive Director of ACE, Pic has also worked at Blu Skye, a strategic consulting firm which develops sustainable business strategies for Fortune 500 clients and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation leading research and development efforts for the Environment team. During his tenure at Moore Foundation, he co-developed the Wild Salmon Ecosystem Initiative, a $200+ million effort to improve the long-term sustainability of wild Pacific Salmon. Pic started his career teaching environmental studies and English at the Canterbury School in Connecticut.
Pic is a certified NOLS instructor and worked previously with several non-profit organizations, including Rainforest Action Network. He was born and raised in New England, and now raises his three kids - Zelle, Kacy, and Mac - in Northern California with his wife Heather. Pic holds a B.A. from Middlebury College and an M.B.A. in sustainable enterprise from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is a card carrying member of Red Sox Nation.