MN Energy Smart

Who We Are

Meet The Team

jcurran_13Jill Curran, Director, Environment Sustainability Programs, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and Executive Director, Minnesota Waste Wise Foundation, B.E.P.

Jill is the Director of Environment Sustainability programs at the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. She is also the Executive Director of the Minnesota Waste Wise Foundation. She has been with the Chamber and the Foundation since 2008. Jill brings 20 years of new enterprise development, environmental program management and business community organizing experience to the Energy Smart program. Having worked with and for business of all sizes, she understands well the economic realities of running a business. Jill is an individual member of the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) and is a Certified Business Energy Professional (BEP).

Prior to joining Energy Smart, Jill delivered a range of client services for businesses and organizations small and large. She ran environmental and community programs for an industry leading company in St. Paul and has been a leader in the socially responsible business community in the Twin Cities.

chrisrChris Rustad, Senior Energy Efficiency Specialist, C.E.M.

Chris works alongside Minnesota businesses, as well as those of the Spanish-speaking community, to help them identify and implement energy-saving measures.

Before joining Energy Smart in 2015, he worked for more than five years as a residential energy auditor. During this time, he worked with the Home Energy Squad where his bilingual skills helped the program to expand its reach to much of the Spanish-speaking community.

Chris graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor’s of Spanish and Portuguese Studies and was an AmeriCorps volunteer through the Conservation Corps of Minnesota.

KarenMKaren Malkowski, Energy Efficiency Specialist

Karen works with Minnesota businesses to identify and implement energy saving opportunities through on-site consultations and by providing technical support.

Before joining Energy Smart in 2016, Karen was a Senior Crew Leader with the Neighborhood Energy Connection’s Home Energy Squad. In this role she was able to help residential customers instantly save energy and provide next steps for future energy conservation.

She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental and Public Health. Karen also has an A.A.S in Architectural Technology and is LEED Green Associate accredited.In her free time, she enjoys gardening, kayaking, playing with her dogs and cheering for the Green Bay Packers.

Before joining Energy Smart, Patrick was a residential energy auditor with the Neighborhood Energy Connection. By performing diagnostic testing, Patrick identified opportunities for Minnesota home owners to save energy, improve comfort, and lower their energy bills.

Energy Smart is a program of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and works in close partnership with the Minnesota Waste Wise Foundation.

Diana ChaoDiana Chao, Energy Efficiency Specialist

As an Energy Efficiency Specialist, Diana works to connect with Minnesota businesses and offer recommendations for implementing energy-efficient alternatives to their existing infrastructures.

Before joining Energy Smart in 2017, Diana served as a Minnesota GreenCorps member with the City of St. Paul. Her core projects included conducting waste assessments and improvements throughout municipal buildings, as well as supporting public event organizers with maximizing their waste diversion efforts.

Diana graduated from Macalester College with a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy. She also holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Leadership from the University of St. Thomas. In her spare time, she enjoys snapping photos with her film camera, taking her cat out on neighborhood walks, and exploring new ways to stay mindful and active (like taking aerial silk classes!).