Introducing Cathy Liebowitz - Senior Manager of Membership Engagement
Introduction to clean energy
Growing up sandwiched between a dairy farm and an apple orchard, I’ve always had a strong interest in people’s relationship with our environment. However, my first introduction to clean energy was when I participated in a natural sciences summer camp at the local museum where we created solar ovens out of pizza boxes. While I enjoyed the outcome (delicious s’mores!), I began to investigate clean energy more seriously. I believe that clean energy has the ability to create accessible and innovative communities that balance people’s needs and the environment. It’s both a critical and exciting time to implement clean energy in Minnesota, and I’m thrilled to contribute to this transition through CEEM.
Experience and expectations
Although this is my first time living in Minnesota, I’ve spent the last several years focused on carbon neutrality goals and sustainability. After completing my BA in Environmental Studies at Dartmouth College, I went straight to the University of Maryland, College Park where I finished my MA in Higher Education Administration and supported the Department of Fraternity and Sorority Life with their departmental sustainability initiatives. I had my first Midwest experience at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign where I managed a $1.2 million internal green fund that provided grants to Illini stakeholders who implemented campus sustainability projects, including a 4.68 megawatt (MW) solar farm.
Most recently, I was the first director of sustainability at the College of the Holy Cross, located in the City of Worcester about an hour west of Boston, where my responsibilities ranged from climate action planning to student programming and internal policy development. I look forward to applying my background at the intersection of higher education and sustainability to the clean energy transition in Minnesota. In my role as the senior manager of membership engagement, I’m particularly eager to collaborate with CEEM’s diverse membership and partners since they undertake such impactful and meaningful work.
Growing up in a small, tight-knit town along the Connecticut River in New Hampshire, I’ve always considered the New England region homebase. New England is where I took my first subway, blended my first bike powered smoothie and toured my first waste-to-energy plant. However, I love exploring new places and getting involved in the local agricultural scene. On the weekends, you may find me petting farm animals (that’s me saying hi to Turnip the turkey), trying to grow mushrooms and caring for my very large (pushing six feet!) indoor Ponytail Palm.
Presently, I live in Rochester, MN where I’ve begun to discover the walking paths around the many awesome lakes (recommendations are always welcome). My very first stop in Rochester was the seasonal farmer’s market that had the plumpest tomatoes that I’ve experienced! It turned into a delightful cheese sandwich.