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LEAP Welcomes Andrew Grigsby as Interim Executive Director

Organization bids fond farewell to ED of 5 years

Charlotesville, Virginia (May 8, 2015)– The Local Energy Alliance Program today announced the departure of Executive Director Cynthia Adams and that Andrew Grigsby, one of LEAP’s original participating contractors and most recently LEAP’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program Manager, will serve as Interim Executive Director. The nonprofit LEAP was founded in Charlottesville in 2010 and has served more than 4,500 central and northern Virginia home and business owners with energy efficiency and renewable energy services.

Mr. Grigsby came to LEAP from Commonwealth Sustainability Works, a consulting firm he founded in 2001 focused on high-performance construction, sustainable land use and green strategies for business. He previously managed the Sustainable Communities Initiative for the City of Austin, Texas.

“I have been involved with LEAP since the very beginning and have admired the organization’s tremendous successes and contributions to the community – especially for a small, locally-based nonprofit,” said Grigsby, who will serve as Interim Executive Director through October, while the Governance Board oversees the hiring of a new Executive Director. “It’s an exciting time to step up to this role, and I look forward to working with LEAP’s staff, clients and partners to build on our foundation.”

“Smart organizations succeed by staying nimble, weathering transitions and innovating as circumstances change,” said Bill Prindle, Chair of LEAP’s Governance Board and a Vice President at ICF International, “LEAP has exhibited those strengths time and again, and we welcome the chance to bring another strong leader to the helm.”

Prindle highlighted some of LEAP’s myriad accomplishments in 2014 (also available in the 2014 Annual Report) many of which were driven by new obstacles and opportunities:

  • When we learned that homeowners wanted a lower cost way to learn about their homes’ energy performance,LEAP stepped up our participation in Dominion Virginia Power’s Home Energy Check-Up program. Our Energy Coaches did 1,881 Check-Ups in 2014 (7 every working day!)
  • Responding to the clamor to go greener by offering energy efficiency and renewables, LEAP launched the wildly successful Solarize program in Charlottesville  and Leesburg/Loudoun. More than 1,550 people applied and to date 123 have signed contracts for solar panels on their roofs.
  • Because LEAP Energy Coaches are such trusted advisors, many of our participants want them to oversee their home energy upgrades through from start to finish. So LEAP introduced a Project Management program, and in just a few months we have served as general contractors on more than 56 retrofits.

Ms. Adams has been at the helm of LEAP since day one, during which time she: secured millions in public and private funding; cultivated several strategic partnerships; and represented the organization in various national, high-profile speaking roles and boards.  She leaves to start her own company, Pearl Certification, based in northern Virginia that will offer a national home energy certification system to homeowners and a complementary marketing platform to contractors. She will support Mr. Grigsby and LEAP during a transition period, wrapping up her duties by June 1, but will continue working with LEAP in her capacity as CEO of Pearl. LEAP and Pearl will partner to pilot the Pearl Certification system in conjunction with Home Performance with ENERGY STAR in northern Virginia, and potentially elsewhere in the state.

“Cynthia brought an ambitious vision to LEAP, and her innovative spirit, expertise in the field and boundless energy were the pillars of the organization’s rapid and sustained success,” said Prindle.