Clean Energy Trust Elects GE and ARPA-E Alumnae to Board of Directors

Amy Yanow Fairbanks
Feb 6 · 3 min read

Colleen Calhoun and Cheryl Martin bring deep expertise to help guide strategy

CHICAGO, IL. — Feb. 6, 2020 — Clean Energy Trust, a Chicago-based nonprofit that provides catalytic capital and support to early-stage startups, is pleased to announce the election of Colleen Calhoun and Dr. Cheryl Martin to the organization’s Board of Directors.

Dr. Martin and Calhoun will support the organization in its mission to narrow the funding gaps that exist in both early-stage cleantech and in the Mid-Continent region of the United States. Clean Energy Trust demonstrates how investing in and supporting early-stage cleantech innovation can solve environmental challenges, create jobs, and generate attractive business and investment opportunities.

“As we recognize our ten year anniversary, we welcome Cheryl and Colleen and the wealth of experience and valuable insights they bring,” said Michael Polsky, who co-founded Clean Energy Trust in 2010 with Nick Pritzker. “Their deep expertise and commitment to innovation aligns with our mission to support early-stage cleantech startups working on solutions for clean energy, decarbonization, and environmental sustainability while also creating jobs and strengthening the economy in the communities in which they operate.”

Colleen Calhoun and Dr. Cheryl Martin

Colleen Calhoun

Colleen Calhoun most recently was the Chief Marketing Officer, Head of Business Development and Software Development leader at GE Current, a Daintree company. She worked to identify and expand business opportunities across the energy and LED sectors. Prior to this role, Calhoun was Senior Executive Director of GE Ventures, where she led a team focused on investing in and scaling start-up energy businesses inside and outside of GE. Calhoun holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the University of Michigan.

“Having grown up outside of Detroit and having attended the University of Michigan for my MBA, I understand the unique and valuable attributes of the Midwest,” said Calhoun. “I’m excited to help entrepreneurs in the region to expand their business opportunities while supporting early-stage clean technologies.”

Dr. Cheryl Martin

Dr. Cheryl Martin serves as Founder and Principal at Harwich Partners, LLC, working to identify critical business, technology, finance, regulatory and policy drivers that accelerate adoption of new technologies into key markets, such as energy, materials and chemicals. From 2013 to 2014, Dr. Martin served as Acting Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). From August 2011 to March 2015, she served as the Deputy Director for Commercialization where she led ARPA-E’s Technology-to-Market program. Dr. Martin earned a B.A. in chemistry from the College of the Holy Cross and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“I’ve always been passionate about helping emerging technologies scale and succeed,” said Dr. Martin. “Joining the Clean Energy Trust board is an exciting opportunity because they support and invest in entrepreneurs developing revolutionary businesses that might not make it out of the lab but for Clean Energy Trust’s support.”

The addition of Calhoun and Dr. Martin expands the Clean Energy Trust board to ten members. Current board members include: Michael Polsky, Nick Pritzker, Amy Francetic, Keith Crandell, Sanjeev Krishnan, Tim Schwertfeger, Ashley Grosh, and Karen Kerr.

About Clean Energy Trust

Clean Energy Trust provides catalytic capital and support to early-stage startups in the Mid-Continent region of the United States working on solutions for clean energy, decarbonization, and environmental sustainability. Based in Chicago, Clean Energy Trust invests in and provides hands-on support to help environmentally sustainable entrepreneurs scale and succeed. To date, Clean Energy Trust has helped its 31 portfolio companies raise $26 of additional investment for every $1 Clean Energy Trust has invested. Clean Energy Trust is proud that 55% of its portfolio companies have female or minority founders. Learn more at www.CleanEnergyTrust.org.

Clean Energy Trust

Clean Energy Trust finds, funds, and grows high-impact cleantech startups from the Midwest

Amy Yanow Fairbanks

Written by

Communications & Content Manager at Clean Energy Trust

Clean Energy Trust

Clean Energy Trust finds, funds, and grows high-impact cleantech startups from the Midwest

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