Operation Fuel’s Board of Directors has moved to add broader depth of experience to the organization’s governing body, with the addition of five new members elected this summer.
The election of new members increases the energy assistance non-profit Board to 12 members who represent a diverse range of experience in the energy industry, business community, legal field, and non-profit sector.
“Operation Fuel is fortunate to have expanded our Board of Directors with leaders in fields that will benefit our organization,” said Brenda Watson, Executive Director of Operation Fuel. “The experience our new members bring coupled with our additional Board members will help our organization better serve Connecticut residents through their knowledge, connections, and innovation.”
Joining the Board are Rauchell Beckford-Anderson, Amy McLean, Nicholas Neeley, Lisa Vallera, and Lorenzo Wyatt.
Rauchell Beckford Anderson:
Attorney Rauchell Beckford-Anderson is an Associate Attorney at Rose Kallor, LLP. Her practice focuses on all aspects of employment law. She defends public and private employers against claims of discrimination, breach of contract, free speech retaliation, whistleblower retaliation, and other civil rights violations. Additionally, Attorney Beckford-Anderson represents her clients at state agencies and in state and federal court. She also has experience drafting and reviewing various legal documents. In addition to her work at Rose Kallor, Attorney Beckford-Anderson recently commenced her second year serving on the Board of Directors for Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity (LCD) and also serves on the Executive Committee for the Connecticut Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section (CBA YLS).
“Now more than ever, it is important for me to serve my community, especially in wake of the current pandemic and countless job losses,” Attorney Beckford-Anderson said. “I am beyond honored to serve as one of Operation Fuel’s Board of Directors, and do my part in helping to ensure equitable access to energy.”
McLean is the Senior Policy Advocate and Connecticut Director at Acadia Center’s Connecticut office. In this capacity, she is a registered lobbyist and tracks clean energy legislation and regulatory issues most important to Acadia Center’s mission and goals. She convenes coalition work with stakeholders and partners to further enhance the success of the policy change efforts Acadia Center takes on. McLean is the communicator for all publicity generated on the important clean energy issues and serves as a member on the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Board, which oversees the effectiveness of the programs and activities in place to distribute the energy efficiency funds to Connecticut ratepayers. McLean presently serves as the Chair of the Residential Committee of the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Board and has been active in local campaigns and community issues in the greater Hartford area. McLean holds M.S.W. and B.A. degrees from the University of Connecticut and is certified in Green Professional Building by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Nicholas Neeley was employed by the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (formerly the Department of Public Utility Control) for thirty-five years, retiring in 2019. PURA is statutorily charged with regulating the operations, finances, rates, services, and customer service of Connecticut’s investor-owned electricity, natural gas, water, and telecommunication companies. Neeley held a variety of PURA managerial and technical staff positions over his career, most recently working for the three PURA Commissioners directing and managing PURA’s legislative, community, government relations, and media activities in addition to serving many years as PURA’s liaison with the Governor’s Emergency Operations Center. After retiring, Neeley volunteered with the Justin Elicker for Mayor Committee and aided Mayor-elect Elicker’s administration in their process of evaluating potential candidates to fill positions in the Elicker administration. He is also the long-time Campaign Manager and Treasurer for Connecticut State Senate President Martin M. Looney’s re-election campaigns. He has lived in New Haven for the past forty-five years and is married to Susan Weisselberg with whom he has two grown sons.
Lisa Vallera has a long career with Eversource Energy over 16 years, currently as Associate Account Executive in the Norwalk area where she provides information about energy savings programs and assists commercial customers in billing inquiries and complaints. Previously, she worked as a “Wise Use” Administrator working with customers to lower their energy costs through energy audits and other energy efficiency programs including assessments, rebates, supplier rates, and energy events. She has also held positions in customer care and advocacy, managing energy crisis issues including escalations, disputes, credit concerns, and outage information. Lisa is a volunteer with Coram Deo Recovery, a non-profit that has five homes for women in recovery from substance abuse issues. Vallera is also a US veteran.
Lorenzo Wyatt owns and operates Home Comfort Practice, an Energize Connecticut contractor that has reduced the electric and heating costs of over 12,000 low- and moderate-income households over the past 10 years. The company employs 83 Connecticut residents, who specialize in home diagnostics, insulation upgrades, window and door replacement, and overall home improvement. Wyatt also serves on the Board of Trustees of King School and the Board of Efficiency for All, an advocacy and outreach organization that promotes equal access to valuable energy efficiency services for all Connecticut residents, as well as the interests of energy demand reduction contractors.
“Operation Fuel assists families in crisis,” Wyatt said. “Its grants to households ensure that basics — food, rent, healthcare — are not sacrificed for the electric and heating costs that keep families safe and comfortable in their homes. I am proud to join with Operation Fuel to raise broad awareness of its vital services and to secure additional funding to further its mission.”
For more information about Operation Fuel’s Board of Director, please click here.