Solar Living Institute
PO Box 836
13771 S. Hwy 101 - deliveries
Hopland, CA 95449

Phone: 707-472-2450
Fax: 707-472-2498
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  • Solar Living Center Hours: Daily, 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM 
  • SLI Office Hours: Monday-Thursday, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Friday, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM.


Executive Director
Teresa Jodon-Manns
Tel: 707-472-2452

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Teresa has spent the last 14 years in the nonprofit sector. Teresa received her Master of Science in Management with a specialization in Nonprofit and Association Management from the University of Maryland University College. She received her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. While earning her BS, she completed several cooperative education semesters, which took her to Puerto Rico to work with the United States Geological Survey and the Institute for Tropical Ecosystem Studies.  She strongly believes in cooperative and other educational events that promote a life-long commitment to professional and community development.

Prior to joining SLI she was the Executive Director of the Horticultural Research Institute located in Washington, DC an affiliate organization of the American Nursery & Landscape Association.


Managing Director, Workshops & Training
Karen Kallen

Tel: 707-472-2456

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Karen brings many years of organizational and management experience to the SLI and holds a Business Management degree from St. Mary’s College.  Entering her seventh year at the SLI, she has adopted and adapted to, the many changing roles that is the nature of a small non-profit.  Dedicated to enabling and empowering others to finding their niche in the sustainable economy she oversees the solar training and workshops department, as well as nonprofit administration. 

Prior to joining SLI she specialized in eco-tourism developing tours and leading professional groups to World Heritage sites around the globe.  She currently resides in Healdsburg, CA, with her husband, writer and author, Christian Kallen.


Programs Manager, Intern Program, K-12 Environmental Tours, Communications
Hannah Bird
Tel: 707-472-2460

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Hannah has worked on environmental issues throughout her working life, from raising awareness of climate change and energy efficiency to managing a whale and dolphin conservation visitor center. Since moving from the UK in 2008 she has been involved with outdoor education and loves to spread her enthusiasm for our environment to those around her. When not at the Solar Living Institute she can be found corralling her twins around Ukiah.


Site Manager
Nop Panitchpakdi

Tel: 707-472-2458
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Everardo Dominguez





SLI_BoardTomCotter_314x209Tom Cotter
Tom Cotter is Sales Manager of Central California at Real Goods Solar. He holds a deep desire to re-think, to re-design and build a positive future. Tom is the organizer and curator of the Fresno Solar Tour, co-founder of  Green Central Valley and Founder of Fresno Green Drinks. He also serves on the board of directors at the International Green Industry Hall of Fame and Restore Hetch Hetchy. His roles as father, consultant, clergy, manager, public speaker, community organizer, and professor have provided a unique perspective on the challenges we face and the changes required to overcome them. He sees the end of the era of cheap fossil fuels and key materials, coupled with rising population and anxieties around water resources, food production and harmful wastes, as clearly demonstrating the need to rethink our model of production and consumption, not merely attempting to patch it up. He shares an optimism that this rethinking will bring a better quality of life and increased opportunities as it can potentially restore natural and social capital. Tom frequently speaks to groups about solar, creation care, circular economy, electric cars, postmodern culture and social media for good.

 Jaynellen KovacovichJaynellen Kovacovich, MA
Jaynellen comes from a farming background with expertise in herbology, permaculture and raising farm animals.  She has over 25 years of elementary and high school teaching and administrative experience.  Jaynellen has a passion for teaching children about the environment and has spent much of her career coordinating environmental education and ecology programs for middle school and high school students throughout the Bay Area.  In 1993, Time Magazine and Amway nominated her for the Earth Teacher Award for her contributions as an environmental educator.   Jaynellen co founded Earth Team, an environmental network for Bay Area teens in 2000.   She served as the coordinator of Earth Day 2000 for Sonoma County and continues to organize Earth Day events in the North Bay.   Jaynellen is active in teaching youth about solar education through hands on experiences.  She helps coordinate the Junior Solar Sprint competition each year for teens in northern California.  Currently, she serves on two non-profit boards.  She is on the board of directors for the Solar Living Institute as the Educational Chairperson and a board member for Earth House Center, a center for sustainability in Oakland, California.

johnschaefferJohn Schaeffer, Founder, Board President
John has been exploring renewable energy and sustainable living since graduating from UC Berkeley in 1971. Over the last 32 years, he founded and grew Real Goods Trading Company as its President from a garage start-up to the foremost global source for tools and information on renewable energy and sustainable living. In 1995 he created the Solar Living Center in Hopland, California, a 12-acre educational demonstration site. He founded and remains Board Chair of the educational non-profit Solar Living Institute dedicated to promoting renewable energy through inspirational environmental education. He continues as President of Real Goods Solar, Inc., now a public company (NASDAQ: RSOL), that has installed more solar than any other company in the U.S. with over 6,000 homes solarized. John has received numerous awards including Small Business Person of the year, Most Environmental Catalog from the Direct Marketing Association three years running, and has been twice nominated for Entrepreneur of the Year. John lives with his wife Nancy remotely in Mendocino County, California in a natural home built mostly from recycled materials in the middle of a permaculture off-grid oasis powered by solar and hydro-electric, where John and Nancy also raise grapes, olives, fruit trees, and an abundant vegetable garden organically and biodynamically.

Joel KaufmannJoel_Kaufmann_medium_314x235
Joel is a proven business executive with a track record of success across sales, marketing and business development. He is currently leading the Marketing Department at Ecology Action. Ecology Action, a California-based non-profit, is a leading provider of innovative marketing and engagement programs that overcome barriers to reducing energy use and achieving environmental sustainability. Joel co-founded Independent Energy Systems, one of the top solar companies in Ca, that is now part of Real Goods Solar.  During his 9 years in the solar industry, he had a hand in almost every aspect of solar, from his work as a NABCEP certified installer to his extensive experience in sales, business development and marketing. He has a broad background in energy efficiency for residential clients including solar thermal, passive solar, and green building. He served on the Leadership Committee of the U.S. Green Building Council for the Monterey Branch and continues to educate his community about the need to be more efficient with our resources.  He is passionate about helping his country reduce its fossil fuel based energy use and reduce our personal energy consumption. And yes, he has solar on his house.


SLI_BOD_2012-05-19_kevin_myers  Kevin Myers








David Arkin
David Arkin AIA, has taught and lectured on the subject of sustainable design for over fifteen years. He and his wife Anni Tilt are the principals of Arkin Tilt Architects, a firm specializing in energy and resource efficient design.David and Anni are founding members of the California Straw Building Association (CASBA). He is past-President of Architects, Designers, and Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR). A licensed architect, he spent four years as project architect and planner with Van der Ryn Architectsmost notably on the Real Goods Solar Living Centerand apprenticed with Obie Bowman at Sea Ranch. David and Anni live with their two children in a 100 year old solar and wind-powered home in Albany, CA, where he currently serves as a planning and zoning commissioner.


Jeff Oldham
After 12 years of electrical contracting work, Jeff Oldham worked 18 years for Real Goods as lead tech and manager and has owned his own Solar Contracting business, Regenerative SOLutions, for the last 4 years. He has been living off-grid with solar and hydro power for over 30 years. In 1993 he was selected as one of the coordinators of the Dream Team for The Greening of The White House project, and was responsible for Plugloads/Equipment and Renewables. He has taught classes in all aspects of sustainable development and RE. Currently, his work is 60% off-grid and 40% grid-connected with about half of it international, primarily in Latin America.

Oliver Meissner
Oliver is Principal and Founder of The CONSILIO Group, a Washington DC based government relations firm. He has close relationships with top officials in the U.S. Congress, Department of Energy, Department of Defense and the Obama Administration. Specifically he works with the United States Senate (Senators and Senate Committees such as Appropriations, Armed Services, Energy & Natural Resources, Environment & Public Works, Commerce), the United States House of Representatives (House Members and House Committees such as Appropriations, Armed Services, Energy & Commerce, Science & Technology), The White House (the President, Council on Environmental Quality), and with appointed officials and others at the Pentagon, Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Aviation Administration, Department of the Interior and others. Oliver specializes in U.S. Government funding and legislative support for technology related companies. He sits on the board of directors for the Solar Living Institute in Hopland, California.  Oliver Meissner co-founded laser optics company Onyx Optics, Inc. in 1992 and served from 1995 to 2005 as its CEO. At Onyx he developed the market for the companys proprietary adhesive-free bond crystal based optical components, primarily for high power solid-state lasers. Oliver fostered relationships with as well as with members of Congress, enabling multiple multi-million dollar direct contracts. Oliver is author or co-author on a number of awarded and pending patents, primarily in the optics field. He has a Bachelor of Arts - Music degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Donald Aitken
Owner, Donald Aitken Associates

Ed Begley, Jr.
Actor; Environmental Media
Association Board Member

Julian Darley
Founder & Director, Post Carbon Institute
Executive Editor, GlobalPublicMedia.com
Author, High Noon for Natural Gas

Alisa Gravitz
Executive Director, Co-op America

Ken Halliburton
Vice President of Sales at Real Goods Solar

Jan Hamrin
Executive Director
Center for Resource Solutions

Barbara Harwood
Owner, Donald Aitken Associates

Randy Hayes
Board President, Rainforest Action Network

Richard Heinberg
Core Faculty,
New College of California at Santa Rosa
Author, The Party's Over and Powerdown

Jan McFarland
Executive Director, California SEIA

Robert W. Shaw, Jr.
President, Aretê Corporation

Scott Sklar
President, The Stella Group Ltd.

Johnny Weiss
Executive Director, Solar Energy Int'l.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Chief Prosecuting Attorney for the Hudson Riverkeeper and President of Waterkeeper Alliance


The Solar Living Institute is a 501 (c)(3) educational nonprofit organization offering instruction in solar training and sustainable practices.  Founded in 1998, we have been providing professional solar training and a wide array of sustainability courses for over 15 years. Our courses are taught by experienced practitioners who bring years of real world knowledge to the classroom with a focus on helping students prepare for job opportunities, start businesses, and live more sustainably.

ACCREDITED BY IREC - Registered Provider of NABCEP

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