June 5, 2017
I’m Lily Osborne, CEEM’s new Manager for Business Development and Programs. I am thrilled to be joining CEEM and to have the opportunity to support clean energy business development in Minnesota. In my role I will work closely with our partners in the energy efficiency and clean energy business sector, as well as serve as an advocate for smart energy policy.
To share a little of my background, I moved to the state two years ago to pursue a Master’s degree at the University of Minnesota. At UMN I worked on a wide-range of projects related to natural resource management for economic and community development both within the U.S. and internationally. With UMN’s Community Economics team at Extension I also had the opportunity to work with business owners throughout Greater Minnesota to understand challenges related to business ownership succession, and how community resources could better support ownership transitions.
Prior to graduate school I worked in the private sector helping to establish a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) team for a publicly traded company. My work focused on engaging business units and teams throughout the organization to achieve our CSR goals, developing local and national nonprofit partnerships, and growing employee engagement with the community.
Through my past experience I know when communities gain businesses and jobs they also gain vitality. Minnesota’s clean energy sector has already delivered more than 54,000 local jobs, and is growing faster than total state employment. Our state is also a leader in clean energy innovation with Minneapolis-St. Paul recently ranked by Brookings as one of the top metro areas in the country for cleantech patents. Importantly, with a global clean energy market valued at more than $1 trillion there is ample opportunity to grow this sector in Minnesota.
In addition to making a positive economic impact, one of the qualities that drew me to CEEM is the organization’s commitment to collaboration. I am looking forward to working with our partner organizations, to share best practices and innovation, and expand our education and outreach. We’re part of a special ecosystem in Minnesota with so many enterprises working to make our energy cleaner and more efficient. I am very excited to learn more about you, our clean energy partners, and how I can support your work.
Finally, while I’m from Washington State I’ve had many visits to the Midwest to see family while growing up, and it’s been fun to learn more about the area where my parents are from. While I have no strong professional sports team alliances (I’m just happy to have an NBA team again), I am an alumna of Gonzaga University and a fervent supporter of the Zags in college basketball. With the beautiful summer weather right now I am also really enjoying all of the amazing bike trails, parks, rivers, lakes, and patios.