Lynn Benander

CEO and President

lynn [at]

Lynn Benander builds community ownership of sustainable energy resources to create a more just and sustainable future in New England and New York. She has worked for many years to support the development of consumer, producer, worker-owned and other locally-owned businesses that meet basic needs for energy, food, and shelter.

She has provided fundraising, strategic planning, marketing, executive search management, business planning and technical assistance consulting to hundreds of businesses in the Northeast including Northeast Biodiesel, Energia, Cabot Creamery, Collective Copies, Northeast Cooperatives, PV Squared, Hillside Organic Farm and Pizza Company, and River Valley Market. She has managed Co-op Power since 2006 and managed the Cooperative Development Institute prior to that. Lynn Benander lives in Shelburne Falls, Mass. and serves on numerous cooperative and community boards and served as her town’s finance committee chair.


Phil Cherry

VP of Alternative Fuels

Phil’s an industrial chemist. He worked for Mobil on a new assignment every year or so to get one of their petroleum plants back up and humming, serving as the plant manager, chief chemist, or quality control specialist. After 9 years, Phil began his biofuel career in ethanol. He served as plant manager and general manager for five start-up projects. His favorite thing to do is to get a plant to produce quality product running over capacity. He enjoys the excitement of a start-up business and choose Co-op Power because he’s hoping to help all of our community energy co-ops get biofuels plants started up in their communities. He’ll be launching Northeast Biodiesel in Jan 2016.


Isaac Baker

Community Solar Co-Director

isaac [at]

Isaac Baker is a founding Co-op Power member and long-time supporter who brings expertise in financing structures for renewable energy, community finance, and cooperative development. He is an entrepreneur with experience building a community-scale biogas project development company. In the past year, Isaac has built Co-op Power's community shared solar business model with a world-class team of lawyers and accountants. He has worked at Co-op Power over the last 7 years in a variety of roles, ranging from community outreach and business planning to development and financial planning. As an Environmental Studies student at Middlebury College, he taught a taught a class on institutional microgrid development.


Ben Underwood

Community Solar Co-Director

ben [at]

Ben Underwood grew up in Yellowstone National Park. He grounded his undergraduate studies in Bennington College’s Public Action program, which showed him that addressing climate change is imperative, but also fun. Upon graduating, he won a Davis Projects for Peace grant, moved to Kathmandu and developed five urban biogas projects, each owned and operated by a different community. He then founded a biogas development company and went to Kunming, China as a Fulbright Scholar, where he carried out feasibility research for a project to convert seven universities’ food waste into fuel for public buses. He has three years' experience building teams that bridge race, class and language barriers, developing biogas and solar projects, and securing project financing.


John Eichholz

Controller and Financial Analyst

John Eichholz has worked in cooperatives since 1989 in operations, finance and for 14 years as a member of the general management team at Franklin Community Cooperative. He is currently serving as a controller and financial analyst at Co-op Power. He is a strong advocate for the cooperative model for its ability to restructure economic relationships to include a commitment to equity, honesty and self-responsibility.


Olive Knight

Boston Office Manager

olive [at]

Olive has worked in the Hyde Park office since January 2014, but has been actively involved with the local Community Energy Coop since 2011. Next to her grandkids, Olive's passions are the arts and science fiction. Reading about possible worlds in sci fi brought her to believing that fiction could be the near future and that we can have sustainable energy in a just society. She is a retired librarian, has worked as a church administrator, and manages an online network of Christian artists. Originally from Jamaica, W.I., Olive now lives in Boston, MA. with husband, Alphonse. They have 2 children and 3 grandchildren.


Erik Hoffner

Director of Marketing and Membership
erik [at]

In addition to directing Co-op Power's marketing and membership programs, Erik is a freelance photojournalist whose writing and images appear in The Guardian, Grist, Orion, and EcoWatch, National Geographic News Watch, OnEarth, Yale Environment 360, The Sun, and Earth Island Journal. He is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and an exhibiting member of the Vermont Center for Photography. He’s on the editorial board of Terrain, and previously served as Outreach Coordinator for Orion magazine.

Energy Efficiency


Mark Skinder

Energy Efficiency Program Manager
mark [at]

Northeast Biodiesel


Steve Ronhave

Recycled Oil Collection Specialist

Lowering our local carbon footprint is my immediate as well as long-term objective
After a career in sales in the Food service Energy my "encore career" began
with a Certificate in Renewable Energy from Greenfield Community College.
I recently became a member of the Co-op Power Community outreach team
specializing in the recruitment of waste vegetable oil suppliers.