The purpose of the New Leaders Council is to provide emerging progressive leaders with a rigorous 5-month leadership training program that focuses on entrepreneurship, communications and public speaking skills, fundraising, campaign work, new and traditional media, and personal values to shape them into what the NLC calls “political entrepreneurs”.
I had the pleasure of attending the New Leaders Council’s Energy Leadership Awards event at the Minna Gallery on June 15. As the night kicked off, people started trickling in, talking and mingling with the current and former fellows of the New Leaders Council, and soon, the Gallery was filled with conversation and laughter.
Suddenly, a burst of energy emerged from the front of the crowd – this burst of energy was named Kula Koenig, a 2009 New Leaders Council Fellow. She was warm, sweet and full of energy and welcomed all of us to the event. Kula, passionate about making a difference in the world, has found the tools she learned from the NLC to be extremely useful in her quest.
Kula then introduced Phil Angelides, Chairman of the Apollo Alliance and the evening’s host. Mr. Angelides has been an enormous voice and strong promoter of the clean tech industry. Mr. Angelides said, “You don’t need a title to make a difference. The possibilities to make change are limitless.”
The Public Sector Award went to Phil Ting, San Francisco Assesor-Recorder and Founder of the Solar Task Force, for launching GoSolarSF and pushing San Francisco’s businesses to install solar systems, doubling the number installed in a year and a half. If its one thing I took away from his speech, it was this: never take no for an answer.
The Business Sector Award went to Nancy Floyd, Founder and Managing Director of Nth Power, for her continuous dedication in investing and believing in the clean tech market with her venture capital firm, Nth Power. Ms. Floyd said that the NLC had the passion and vision to make a change in the world.
The Non-Profit Sector Award went to Tim Sears and Erica Mackie, the Co-Founders of GRID Alternatives, for their involvement in bringing solar panels for low income families. With the help of numerous volunteers and hours of job training, GRID Alternatives has installed about 200 systems in San Francisco.
As the award ceremony dwindled to an end, the room was filled with renewed passion, hope and determination, inspired by the all the winners that night. It was clear that one point resonated throughout the evening – Edward Everett Hale summed it up quite well when he said, “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.”