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Board of Directors

ZACK VALIGOSKY. Zack is originally from Toledo, Ohio and moved to Des Moines in June of 2016, after accepting a position as an Energy Engineer with CLEAResult. He attended the University of Dayton where he received a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree. During his time in Dayton, his passion for sustainability was created and developed as a member of the Rivers Institute. Housed within the Fitz Center for Leadership in Community, the Rivers Institute is a three-year program aimed at connecting the University and community partners to utilize rivers as a strategic natural resource. To address sustainability through the lens of engineering, Zack continued his education in Dayton and became a Master of Science in Renewable and Clean Energy. Zack works on a daily basis to save energy and reduce his footprint though his work, cycling, and other practices.

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TANNER FAABORG. Tanner has roots in rural Iowa where he was raised on a farm with a family of seven. His next stage of life would take him to the The University of Iowa, where he studied English Literature and Political Science. In Iowa City, Tanner was immersed in community organizing with the focus on bringing people and ideas together, while at the same time starting and running a digital marketing company, Gadabout Marketing. After finishing his degree, Tanner pursued his passion for travel which took form in a one year, cross-country motorcycle trip. Later, this same passion led him on a three year adventure around the word taking him to 51 countries on 6 different continents. These experiences helped cultivate a yearning to learn and a desire to help better the world. Following his travels, Tanner returned to Iowa to seek his next adventure - home ownership. Here in Des Moines, he is currently working on a number of projects including owning and operating his men’s accessory line, working on a pilot project to collect methane from animal waste to convert to electricity, and transitioning the family farm to a lower carbon footprint through a large scale solar operation and renewable energy. Tanner’s excited to have a home base again and to work with passionate people on fighting for a sustainable and better future for all.

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CASSIE NEMMERS. Cassie was born and raised here in Des Moines, Iowa. She graduated from Simpson College with a bachelor’s degree in Biology, and is the Outreach Coordinator for Habitat for Humanity of Iowa. Outside of her passion for inspiring sustainability and conservation in others, Cassie enjoys traveling, running, and exploring her creative side through D&D.

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KAREN SWEENEY. Karen grew up in upstate New York. She went to Wake Forest University for her bachelor’s degree in chemistry and environmental studies. She then spent four years in Denver, Colorado working in renewable energy research and energy efficiency before coming to Des Moines in 2018. She is a member of Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), a national advocacy organization that promotes the business case for environmental policy. Karen works as an Energy Analyst for The Energy Group in Des Moines and enjoys spending time outdoors, playing sports, baking sourdough bread, and traveling.

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HEATHER CHRISTENSEN. Heather was born and raised in eastern Iowa and now calls the Des Moines area home. Since moving to the capital, Heather has been inspired by the enrichment and positive growth she’s seen throughout the metro area.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and biology from Drake University, Heather spent much of her career at Pioneer, applying continuous improvement processes in her different roles in research and regulatory. In 2018, building on her passion and educational roots, Heather began guiding the sustainability program at Des Moines-based Kemin Industries, a global ingredient manufacturer with a focus on improving the quality of life for more than 3.8 billion people every day with over 500 specialty ingredients made for the human and animal health, aquaculture, pet food, nutraceutical, food technology, crop technologies and textile industries. Heather enjoys spending time with her family, being on the water during the summer and vegetable gardening.