October 16, 2017
I am Amelia Cerling Hennes and my first few weeks with CEEM have already been so exciting! I am thrilled to be joining Clean Energy Economy MN as their first Marketing and Communications Manager.
It is an exciting time to be working in the clean energy sector and I find myself in awe, surrounded by so many passionate, intelligent and driven people who work in the energy efficiency and clean energy marketplace. In this new role, I plan on helping strengthen the CEEM brand to elevate their work as a partner with clean energy businesses across the state and through advancing smart, clean energy policies at the state level. With a clean energy workforce 57,000 strong in Minnesota – my job is to help highlight the important work businesses are doing and advance the message that working to create more clean and efficient energy for Minnesota is just a smart business decision.
For the past four years I worked at the Minnesota Senate as a Communications Specialist helping senators share their stories about the work they are doing for Minnesota and their constituents. From developing long-term communications strategy to reacting to breaking news on the fly – I had a front row seat to the political process in action. From becoming fluent in the inner workings of public policy, to filling in as Communications Director for a six-month stint, attending bonding tours in wide-ranging communities across Minnesota, and developing a non-partisan website to help make the bonding process more transparent -- my experiences helped shape how I view this state, and deepened my respect for the democratic process. It also solidified my views that those who actively participate and pay attention are the ones who shape what happens in your community.
Prior to my work at the Senate, I spent four years living and working in Eau Claire, Wisconsin as a reporter and weekend anchor at the NBC-affiliate, WEAU News. Fresh from journalism school at the University of Minnesota, my time in Eau Claire will forever be a dream come true. Being a reporter for a station that has a 13-county viewing area meant I spent a lot of time on the road, discovering the beauty of Western Wisconsin and the amazing people and stories that come from the most unlikely places. From covering wicked and dangerous snowstorms, to heart-wrenching drownings, to learning the ins and outs of school finance on the education beat – I met hundreds of amazing people who helped shape me into the writer I am today.
While I proudly call Minneapolis home today, where I live with my husband Ryan and our sweet black lab Hazel, I grew up in southeastern Minnesota on a small hobby hazelnut farm. My parents believed in using resources efficiently long before it became mainstream, and even installed a solar array on our family farm. I credit them with the belief system that pushed me to work for policies that help people and our planet.
When I am not working to advance clean energy messages and progress, I enjoy traveling – whether it’s hiking through national parks (Glacier National Park is my favorite so far!) or exploring ancient villages, I am always on the lookout for my next adventure.