Press Release

Team Changes At Sustainable Connections

(Press Release) Bellingham, WA, May 4, 2015 – Sustainable Connections is pleased to announce two new personnel changes: Sam Gearhart was hired as the team’s new Development Manager and Jeff Aslan will be transitioning into the organization’s Energy Program Manager.

As Development Manager, Sam will work closely with program managers, members, funders and strategic partners to coordinate all aspects of the organization’s grants, funding, and contracts. He will also be responsible for identifying, defining and developing funding sources to support existing and planned program activities in the areas of Food & Farming, Green Building & Smart Growth, Energy Efficiency & Renewables, Sustainable Business Practices and Thinking Local First.

After growing up in Bellingham and graduating from Sehome High, Sam departed the area with a heavy heart for Oregon where he completed his undergraduate degree at Willamette University. Prior to joining the Sustainable Connections team he worked in Washington, DC where he spent six years working in development for a small international non-profit.

Jeff Aslan, formerly a Business Energy Project Advisor for Sustainable Connections, will be transitioning into an Energy Program Manager by providing leadership in local energy use and generation. Jeff will continue to deepen relationships with team members, businesses, government and strategic partners to develop and conduct research and analysis for Sustainable Connections’ Energy programs. He will lead the Community Energy Challenge team to increase the energy efficiency of businesses and institutions, diversify energy used by businesses to include more renewable energy sources, and increase the percentage of renewable energy that is locally produced.

Jeff has worked with Sustainable Connections for about 2 years and earned his JD from Vermont Law School with a focus on the nexus of business, energy and the environment. Through independent research and internships, Jeff has developed statewide and regional energy efficiency initiatives, and has energy efficiency project management expertise.

Derek Long, Sustainable Connections Executive Director, said, “We are excited to build on such a strong team. Sam and Jeff bring a lot of knowledge to the group, and I’m honored to work with an amazing team that helps businesses succeed environmentally, socially and financially.”

New Sustainable Connections Team Member Same Gearhart

New team member Sam Gearhart

Tobias Osterhaug

Tobias Osterhaug

Tobias is a full-time contributor to Bellingham Business News, covering local business events, tech news, and advice for job seekers in the Bellingham area. He graduated from Western Washington University with a double major in History and Chinese Language & Cultural Studies, and has previously worked as a coordinator in Western’s Writing Center.

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