Board of Directors
Leslie Cole-Brooks has had a passion for the environment and energy issues for many years. She graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Geology with honors from U.C. Davis, where she went on to work in water quality. She later completed a certificate in Energy Management and Design and worked for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s peak demand and efficiency program. Her love for the ocean brought her to Hawaii where she attended the William S. Richardson School of Law. She is now a member of both the Hawaii and California State Bars, and holds a certificate in Environmental Law. After graduation, Leslie worked Hawaii where she attended the William S. Richardson School of Law. There, she completed her J.D., in addition to a certificate in Environmental Law. As a law student, she also won several awards, including the Alston Hunt Floyd Ing award for best environmental brief, and an award for best oralist in the International Environmental moot court competition. Upon graduation, Leslie worked as Representative Cynthia Thielen’s environmental and legal analyst, and Ms. Cole-Brooks is now a member of both the Hawaii and California State Bars. Ms. Cole-Brooks was appointed to the position of Executive Director of the Hawaii Solar Energy Association in May of 2012, and currently handles legislative, regulatory, and educational affairs on behalf of HSEA.
Bob Sumpf, raised in Southern California, has lived in Hawaii since 1972. After separating from the U.S. Army in 1975, he owned and managed restaurants for several years. In 1990, Bob joined Pepsi-Cola Hawaii and served in several different sales and operations management positions with state-wide responsibilities. After retiring from Pepsi he embarked on a second career in the solar industry which combined his business and leadership experience with a life-long commitment to a healthy, sustainable environment. Bob entered the solar industry in 2008 as sales manager with Smart Energy Hawaii. In 2011 Bob joined American Electric as sales manager of the Alternative Energy Division. In June, 2013, Bob became General Manager of the Alternative Energy Division at AE, with full P&L responsibility for the division results. Bob is an active member of the Rotary Club of Honolulu and regularly participates in Rotary sponsored community service projects. He holds a B.A. from Stanford University and an M.B.A from Pepperdine University.
Jon Yoshimura is a director of policy and electricity markets, and regulatory counsel for SolarCity, a leading full-service solar provider for homeowners, businesses and government. In addition to a robust residential and commercial portfolio, SolarCity built one of Hawaii’s biggest solar projects, a 14MW ground mount for Kauai Island Utility Coop (KIUC), which provides about six percent of the Garden Isle’s electricity needs. A former broadcast journalist and Honolulu city councilman, Jon also served as communications director for U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka in Washington, D.C.
Richard Taylor currently works as a residential and commercial project developer for PhotonWorks Engineering. The Hawaii-based company has specialized in renewable energy systems and cutting edge development since 2003. From working on the roof as a PV installer to meeting with and consulting clients in their home, Richard has enjoyed being a part of the exciting solar industry in every aspect since 2011. It is his experience on the front-line and connection with the community that has fueled Richard’s true passion for sustainability and renewable design here in Hawaii. Richard holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Hawaii Pacific University. Currently he is focused on reaching the underserved community with the GEMS program. Richard is also passionate about keeping rate payers educated through social media and his solar campaign: #GetInDaQ.
Richard “Rick” Reed
Rick Reed joined The Solaray Corporation (TSC) in Honolulu, HI. in 1982 after working for both the federal Department of Energy’s Western Solar Utilization Network (WSUN) and the state of Hawaii’s Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT). Appointed TSC president in 1987, Mr. Reed has direct responsibility for Solaray’s three operating companies which include SunEarth Inc., Inter-Island Solar Supply and Pacific Liquid and Air Systems.
Mr. Reed holds bachelors and masters degrees from Claremont McKenna College and the University of Hawaii, respectively. He was an East-West Center grantee from 1977 – 1979. Rick Reed has served on the boards of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA), the Hawaii Solar Energy Association (HSEA), and the Solar Rating & Certification Corporation (SRCC). He is a founding member of the Hawaii Renewable Energy Alliance (HREA) and EchoFirst, a startup company that was recently acquired by SunEdison. Mr. Reed is beginning his third-term as the president of CALSEIA.