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Our Team

The People Behind The Passion

Executive Director

Joshua Blaine Simmons

Executive Director

Joshua Simmons

Engineer, Community Organizer, & Advocate

Joshua Blaine Simmons is a born and bred El Pasoan where he graduated from UTEP in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, with a Fields and Devices focus including Renewable and Sustainable Energy.  Joshua’s professional experience includes areas of industrial control automation, electronics, networks and systems design. He currently serves on the Regional Renewable Energy Advisory Council (RREAC) for the City of El Paso’s City Council to advise and provide recommendations on all matters related to renewable energy strategy, policy and industry development.  Joshua is an active volunteer in the El Paso community being involved with environmentalist non-profit organization, Sunrise El Paso and community social justice organization, Community First Coalition along with being an election poll worker.  He participates in efforts with groups like Women League of Voters of El Paso and Fair Maps Texas. He is an active appointed Volunteer Deputy Registrar (VDR) within El Paso County.

Board Members

Blanca Ibarra

President of the Board

Blanca Ibarra

As a climate activist, Blanca is committed to spearheading meaningful initiatives within El Paso. Since her teens, she has been an active volunteer, shaping her commitment to environmental causes. She went on to pursue her Environmental Science major to back up her passion. Blanca is dedicated to instigating tangible change and fostering a collective commitment to addressing the challenges of climate change. She aspires to be a national leader in the environmental movement, urging communities to join her in confronting climate challenges. Collaborating with organizations and conducting outreach, Blanca strives to bridge the gap between awareness and impactful change.

Adrian Aniekwena

Vice President of the Board

Adrian-Aniekwena

Crew 4 Team Leader at US Army

Adrian Aniekwena is an environmental advocate who is currently attaining his Master’s in Environmental Policy with a focus on sustainability. Adrian has his Bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Auburn University. While new to environmental volunteering, he has a strong passion for protecting the health of the environment and he hopes that he can utilize his passion and Master’s to promote litigation that benefits the environment.

Jesse Sanchez

Treasurer

Jesse Sanchez

Project Manager at El Paso Independent School District (EPISD)

Mr. Sanchez is a licensed professional civil engineer in the states of Texas and New Mexico. His experience is in the design of water distribution systems, transportation systems, storm water systems, sub-division design, green building design, construction inspection and facilities engineering. Mr. Sanchez has been a LEED certified Green Associate and is a NRPA certified playground inspector. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Civil Engineering and a Masters in Business Administration, both from the University of Texas at El Paso. Mr. Sanchez currently works as a project manager for a large school district.

Robert Garland

Board Member

Robert Garland

Architect at Wright & Dalbin Architects, Inc.

​Robert has vast experience in several types of architecture, including residential, multi-family housing, religious facilities, educational facilities ranging from Pre-K to technical schools and universities, fight training facilities, commercial, office and retail. After having practiced architecture at Garland & Hilles Architects Inc. since 1988, Robert recently became part of Wright & Dalbin Architects, Inc. in 2017.

Shelby Ruff

Board Member

Shelby Ruff

Lead Recruiter at Roku Inc.

Shelby Ruff started developing Solar Energy companies in 2006 in Austin, TX while simultaneously working full-time as a Technology Recruiter. He has developed solar energy, wind energy, and battery storage projects across the United States and Mexico, including his own solar rooftop! Shelby has served on various nonprofit boards such as the US Green Building Council West Texas, USGBC Texas, Solar San Antonio, and recently served on RREAC (Regional Renewable Energy Advisory Council), which provides renewable energy policy recommendations to El Paso’s City Council.

Shelby also has 18+ years of Recruiting & Employer Branding experience supporting high-growth businesses globally such as Roku, Dell, USAA, and Rackspace Hosting. He is currently a Lead Recruiter at Roku Inc. hiring Engineers & Leaders for new product teams globally. Shelby received his MBA in Management from the Greehey School of Business and his Bachelor of Business Administration, both from St. Mary’s University of San Antonio, where he played NCAA Division 2 Men’s Soccer.

Laurie Marshall

Board Member

Laurie Marshall

Artist, Author, Innovator

For 40 years, Author, Innovator, and Artist Laurie Marshall has empowered youth and adults through creative collaboration around the world. She practices Peace Building through Art, inspired by Nature. She has served mostly low-income children, families, and their schools as an Arts Integration, Biomimicry, and Project Based Learning specialist. She is the founder of Unity Through Creativity Foundation and the international Leadership Training Program called The Singing Tree Mural Project. This is an eco-based envisioning process that uses mutualism and trees and forests to bring together divided communities and innovate solutions to community challenges.

Laurie is also a certified K-12 Art and Social Studies Teacher with training in the Waldorf Curriculum, Conversational Intelligence, Peace Literacy, and Outward Bound. She earned her B.A. from Antioch College in history and education, and her M.A. in Art and Education from Beacon College. For 10 years she has facilitated murals at Bioneers conferences and been a member of the Pacha Mama Alliance.

Fernanda Lugo

Board Member

Fernanda Lugo

Scientist / Advocate

Fernanda is a scientist-activist who grew up as a global citizen in the international setting of the El Paso – Juarez community. Fernanda studied biology & biomedical engineering at UTEP and biobehavioral health at Penn State in the journey to understand the social influences on health and disease throughout the human lifespan. Fernanda is no stranger to illness herself and lives with three chronic health conditions, which she manages with the help of meditation and yoga–she also teaches as a Yoga Alliance certified teacher.

Fernanda has worked with organizations targeting federal and local policies, mass education, and health literacy, such as the Alliance for Just Money, Move to Amend, and Citizens Climate Lobby. She strives to work at the intersection of human and ecological well-being and believes in building mass awareness of social capital.

Frederic Dalbin

Board Member

Fred Dalbin

Principal at Wright & Dalbin Architects, Inc.

​Frederic Dalbin was born in Barcelona, raised in Mexico City and Paris and made El Paso his permanent home in 1984. A registered architect in the U.S. since 1987, Frederic has regularly worked with governmental entities such as the City and County of El Paso, Housing Authority of the City of El Paso, Housing and Urban Development, the US Army Corps of Engineers, University of Texas at El Paso and various school districts. He has also worked with non-profits such as the YWCA, TVP Non-Profit and Opportunity Center for the Homeless.

Jessica Bane

Board Member

Jessica Bane

Science Teacher at Eastwood High School

Jessica’s passion lies in Environmental Science and teaching students about renewable energy and sustainability. Her goal is to ignite a fire in her students and inspire them to pursue a degree in sustainability/environmental science as they prepare to enter the world of higher education. Her hopes are that her students (both in the classroom and in the community workshops she teaches) will continue the work we have started as a board and help our community reduce its dependence on nonrenewable energy sources while seeking ways to create healthier living spaces.

Ricky Villareal

Board Member

Ricky Villareal

Teacher / Instructor at Riverside High School

Ricky is an electrician with 10+ years of experience in the electrical trade including solar, wind, and battery energy technologies. Currently, he works at Riverside High School as an NCCER (National Center for Construction Education & Research) Instructor for the Ysleta Independent School District Electrical Technology Program. His goal is to promote and provide technical skills to students and to help build a safe and sustainable workforce to foster economic growth throughout El Paso and the surrounding area.