About Us‎ > ‎

Board, staff, volunteers

George Wilkes, President CCLEP

BA Biology, Carleton College; Co-owner, Angry Trout Cafe, Grand Marais, MN;  Member 1997 Cook County Land Use Planning Task Force;  Life-long hunter, fisherman, naturalist and advocate for sustainability e.g. local foods and local energy.

Chel Anderson

Plant ecologist, MN DNR; Board member, North Shore Music Association; Volunteer Flute Reed Partnership; Member Cook County Water Plan and 1997 Cook County Land Use Plan Advisory Committees; WTIP volunteer; North House instructor and volunteer; Satisfied alternative energy system user since 1997.

Jay Arrowsmith DeCoux

BA Psychology & BA Philosophy, St. Olaf College; Owner Art House Bed and Breakfast; Mayor of the City of Grand Marais; Grand Marais Library Board Member; Instructor North House Folk School and Cook County Higher Education; Part of community conversations concerning Cook County affordable housing; Have lived at the end of the Gunflint Trail, off-grid and currently living in Grand Marais in a house & business powered with a grid-tie solar array.


Chris O'Brien

Engineering degrees, Dartmouth & MBA from Stanford University. Held Senior executive positions with leading global solar PV and other clean energy companies for the past 25 years. Former Chairman of the Board, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) where he helped the solar industry to lobby successfully for favorable policies at both the Federal and state level, including the long term extension of the Federal Investment Tax Credit (30%) and the enactment of the California Solar Initiative. Prior to his career in the solar energy industry, Chris was program manager for the U.S. EPA Energy Star Buildings Program, and also was a project development manager for combined heat and power projects for AES Corporation. He and his wife Jane have four adult children and live in Grand Marais.

Tony Walzer

BS Landscape Architecture, Park Planning minor, and Associate Drafting and Design Technology degrees from Penn State University.  Worked as Community/Redevelopment Director, Planner and Main Street Project Manager; & Acquisition & Development Specialist with the MN DNR in Bemidji.  An ardent proponent of local foods/cooperatives and energy conservation from site orientation to weatherization & solarization.  Strong believer in the 3Rs: reducing, reusing and then recycling.  Very satisfied solar PV/SPF (solar powered furnace) Grand Marais homeowner.


Matthew Engesser, Coordinator

CCLEP Volunteers

Woody Gilk, Technical Assistance

Self-taught computer programmer since 2004 in freelance, agency, and corporate capacities; Currently working remotely as a website developer for When I Work. Passionate about community, sustainability, growing food, and enjoying the outdoors.