Board of Directors

Kate Coward Satish Jayaram Priti Patel
Larry Goode Will Kaul Winthrop A. Rockwell
Jessica Hellmann Rolf Nordstrom Amy Skoczlas Cole
Douglas Jaeger Dan O'Neill  
Kate Coward

Kate has served as Director, Global Manufacturing Finance for Minnesota-based Polaris industries since 2013. In her time at Polaris, she has worked on greenfield start-up manufacturing operations in the US and Europe, foreign subsidiary entity accounting operations, and problem solving cost effective ways to optimize complex plan operations to keep pace with market demands. She also enjoys commuting to work on her Indian motorcycle during the summer months.

Before joining Polaris, Kate worked for ten years in a series of finance positions at General Electric (GE) across many industries in the North America, Asia and Europe. Her GE work included stints at GE Plastics, GE Corporate, GE Money Bank Japan, GE Power & Water, GE Energy, and GE Oil & Gas working in a broad scope of roles including accounting, audit, banking, restructuring, ERP implementations, acquisition integrations, portfolio sales, commercial sales finance, and tax. She moved around the country and overseas, as well as traveled extensively during her time with GE, fueling a deep passion for learning about and traveling the world. 

Outside of her work, Kate is involved with her college alma mater and seeking adventure. Kate served a four-year term from 2011-2015 as co-chair of the Twin Cities and Greater Metro region for the Brown University Admissions Interviewing Program, coordinating interviews with hundreds of students with volunteer alumni across the state of Minnesota and western Wisconsin. She received her B.A. from Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island in 2002. An avid sports and outdoors enthusiast, Kate is passionate about competing in endurance athletic events. She has completed running a marathon on each of the 7 continents, taking her from the Great Wall of China, to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, to the pristine Antarctic. She has also completed three 140.6 mile Ironman triathlon competitions and is always looking for the next challenge.

Back to top

Larry Goode

Larry Goode is founder and President of Goode Advisors, Inc. Larry's career represents more than 30 years of success in sales, sales management, marketing, business management and international sourcing and operations. Before founding Goode Advisors, Larry served for 20 years as CEO and Owner of RT/Dygert International, which he expanded from a single location, $1MM local distributor operation with 6 employees into one of the largest, most respected seal distributors in the country, with locations in Minneapolis, Chicago, Seattle and Shanghai, China.

Goode Advisors provides strategic consulting resources focusing on small businesses and their owners. Goode Advisors brings over 30 years of experience in small business management, employee development, succession planning, sales and marketing planning bringing a unique knowledge of the issues that affect you the most. In addition, Goode Advisors offers extensive expertise in human resource management, IT system management, executive compensation plans and public relations.

Larry’s outside activities include:  Partner in Twin Cities Angels Fund II, LLC; Treasurer of Kings Port Club Cooperative Association; Treasurer of Orange Lake Country Club Vacation Condo Home Owner Association; and Co-founder and Member of Entrepreneur’s Collaborative MN.

Larry and his wife Carol split time between Minneapolis and Naples, FL and have one daughter, Laura.

Back to top

Jessica Hellmann

Jessica Hellmann is the director of the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota. As director, she provides overall strategic leadership for the Institute, an internationally recognized organization working to solve grand environmental challenges, while promoting interdisciplinary research, teaching and leadership across the university and engaging external partners and stakeholders. She is also the Russell M. and Elizabeth M. Bennett Chair in Excellence in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior in the College of Biological Sciences.

Hellmann’s research focuses on global change ecology and climate adaptation. She was among the first to propose and study ways to reduce the impact of climate change through new techniques in conservation management. Hellmann led an important paradigm shift in ecology and natural resource management by showing that adaptation — living with climate change — is just as crucial to the future of humanity and Earth’s ecosystems as slowing and stopping greenhouse gas emissions. Her research and that of her students also has shown that differences in the way populations respond to climate change are key to predicting and managing their future.

Hellmann regularly counsels state and national governments on habitat management, restoration and endangered species conservation so future generations can enjoy the beauty and function of nature as we do today. In addition, building upon her seminal findings in ecology, Hellmann has extended her work on climate change adaptation to human systems, including health, infrastructure, food and water. She works with governments and corporations to build investment in climate change adaptation and co-authored several climate assessment and adaptation planning efforts, including the biodiversity and ecosystem portions of the Chicago Climate Action Plan and the 2014 National Climate Assessment.

Before she joined the University of Minnesota in 2015, Hellmann was on the faculty at the University of Notre Dame in the Department of Biological Sciences. She also served as research director of the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index, which assesses and ranks the vulnerability of nations around the world to climate change and their readiness to adapt to climate change. She continues to collaborate with ND-GAIN as a core research member, mentoring several ND-GAIN researchers based at the University of Minnesota and elsewhere around the country. In addition, she led the climate change adaptation program at Notre Dame’s Environmental Change Initiative and directed GLOBES, an interdisciplinary graduate training program in environment and society, among numerous other high-level academic and scientific responsibilities. She also founded Notre Dame’s undergraduate minor in sustainability.

Hellmann earned her Ph.D. in biology from Stanford University and served as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation and the University of British Columbia’s Centre for Biodiversity Research. She is an alumna of Stanford’s Leopold Leadership Program and a recipient of a career enhancement fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. She became a member of the Notre Dame faculty in 2003.

Hellmann is a frequent contributor to leading scientific journals such as Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, BioScience and PLOS ONE. She serves on the editorial board of the journal Evolutionary Applications, is an associate editor with both Conservation Biology and Elementa, and serves on committees for the Ecological Society of America, the College Board and the National Academy of Sciences.

A skilled science communicator, Hellmann is routinely called upon by leading media outlets around the world such as CNN, NPR, Fox News, The Telegraph and the Chicago Tribune to provide expert input on topics related to global change and ways to minimize adverse impacts to people and nature.

Originally from Indiana and Michigan, Hellmann enjoys a wide range of activities, including marathoning, traveling the world, exploring the Midwest, gardening and spending quiet time with her husband and daughter. 

Back to top

Douglas Jaeger

Douglas Jaeger is an experienced business leader with a track record of positioning businesses for advancement and innovation both in heavily regulated and non-regulated environments. Doug is currently the President and CEO of Ulteig Engineers in St. Paul, MN. Ulteig provides engineering and technical services to the power, renewable energy, oil & gas, transportation and water sectors. As CEO, Doug is accountable for driving overall business performance and building awareness of the company's broad technical capabilities while expanding client relationships and extending services and markets served.

Prior to this role, Doug served as principal of AMP Advisors, providing advisory and consulting services to the private equity industry around strategy and investments in the energy and energy services sectors. From July 2008 through December 2013, Doug served as chief executive officer of Adolfson & Peterson Inc. (A&P), an $800 million national construction firm with concentration in medical, energy, government, senior housing, and education segments. Before joining A&P, Doug held leadership positions in marketing, sales, operations, and business development with Xcel Energy, Exelon Corporation and Honeywell, Inc.

Doug serves on the Board of Advisors for Computype, Inc. in St. Paul and the Board of Directors for CE Power Solutions in Cincinnati. He is also serving or has served on numerous non-profit boards including Minnesota Independent Schools Forum, Prodeo Academy, Minneapolis Children's Theatre Company, and the Northern Star Council of Boy Scouts of America. In 2010, Twin Cities Business Magazine selected Doug as one of the "200 Minnesotans You Should Know" Honorees. In 2006, he was chosen as one of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal's "Forty Under 40" honorees for his achievements and dedication to the community.

Doug holds an MBA from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN and an undergraduate degree from St. John's University in Collegeville, MN. He and his wife Laura have 4 children and reside in the Twin Cities.

Back to top

Satish Jayaram

Satish Jayaram leads Cummins Energy Ventures. He formed the group in 2014 with a mandate to invest in distributed generation businesses and technologies. In this role, Satish and his team are responsible for sourcing, negotiating, incubating and managing investments & alliances in support of the Power Generation business strategy. Satish spends a great deal of time thinking and working with a broad set of industry stakeholders about market trends, policies, innovation in the energy markets and the resulting implications for the industry and Cummins.

Satish joined Cummins in 2004 in a technology leadership role. In the intervening years, he has held general management positions for Cummins Generator Technologies; led the Pan-Africa power generation business unit and; managed several business transformation initiatives globally for the company. His time at Cummins and beyond has taken Satish to over 50 countries from Chile to Congo. He enjoys the diversity and common humanity that intersects commerce and culture.

Prior to joining Cummins, Satish tried his hand at entrepreneurship and formed a boutique consulting firm. Earlier in his career, he worked for tech startups in India, the Bay Area and New York.

A native of India, where he graduated with a degree in Accounting and Business. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and two daughters. When he is not working or traveling, Satish enjoys a round of golf in what is an especially short season in MN.

Back to top

Will Kaul, Vice Chair

Will Kaul is Great River Energy’s vice president for transmission. He has been employed by Great River Energy or its predecessor companies for over 33 years.

Kaul is a founder of CapX2020 and has served as its chair since its formation in 2004. CapX2020 is a collaboration of nine utilities that have jointly planned and are now constructing a $2 billion expansion of the high voltage grid serving a large region in the Upper Midwest. He is also a founder, director and past president of WIRES, a Washington, D.C. based working group that promotes investment in the transmission grid. In 2010 he was elected to serve as a representative of the transmission owner/developer sector in the DOE sponsored Eastern Interconnect Planning Collaborative Stakeholder Steering Committee.

Kaul has appeared before Congress and numerous state and federal legislative and regulatory bodies. He is also a frequent presenter at national conferences.

Prior to his employment by the cooperative, Kaul worked at the Minnesota Legislature and for the Minnesota State Planning Agency.

Kaul has served on an advisory council to the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank and as a director of the Will Steger Foundation. He is currently a director on the boards of the Graywolf Press and the Great Plains Institute.

Kaul holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Minnesota.

Back to top

Rolf Nordstrom

Rolf Nordstrom is President and CEO of the Great Plains Institute. He has nearly 30 years of experience in energy and sustainable development policy and practice in both governmental and non-profit settings, including the U.S. Congress, the Executive Branch in Minnesota and non-profit organizations in the U.S. and abroad. Among his other duties, he currently leads GPI’s “e21 Initiative” to better align how utilities earn revenue with evolving customer demands & public policy goals. For much of his career Rolf has worked to broker agreement among disparate interests on difficult public policy issues. Rolf has a Bachelor's Degree in English Literature from Carleton College and a Master’s Degree in International Environmental Policy from Tufts University. 

Rolf's full bio is available on the staff page, here.

Back to top

Dan O'Neill, Treasurer

Dan has a forty-year career in Midwestern investment banking (RBC-Dain, Allison-Williams, Northland Securities,) and municipal finance (Springsted, Public Finance Systems, Evenson-Dodge), to private and public entities. Dan’s finance expertise includes structuring of water, wastewater, solid waste, public power, transportation, and sports/event facilities. He has served as a city councilman (Afton, MN), and in various roles on regional and local planning boards and committees. He's testified before Midwest legislatures on issues related to water, solid waste and transportation. He's served on several Minnesota Pollution Control Agency solid waste advisory boards, as well as the Vermillion River Watershed Management District.

Dan worked with the University of Minnesota in the development of biomass energy concept projects that utilize combustion and gasification technologies. He also supported clients in developing food and agricultural waste anaerobic digestion projects for transport fuel and power generation.

Dan served in the U.S. military, including several years on NATO’s General Staff in its Naval Intelligence Cell in Brussels, Belgium. He is a Saint Louis native. He graduated from Saint Benedict’s College in 1969 and holds a B.A. in History and Government. Dan has four daughters and lives in rural Stillwater with his wife, Nan.

Back to top

Priti Patel

Priti Patel is Great River Energy’s vice president and chief transmission officer. She began her career with Great River Energy in May 2017. 

Patel has more than 20 years of electric utility industry experience. She began her career as an attorney at the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office and in a private law practice. 

Most recently, Patel served as regional executive to the North Region and executive director for transmission system planning and competitive transmission for the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO). 

Prior to her role at MISO, Patel served roles in general counsel, transmission development and corporate strategy and planning at Xcel Energy. She served as the organization’s lead counsel and co-executive director for the CapX2020 transmission expansion initiative. Patel also has frequently represented companies at state and federal legislative, regulatory and industry forums. 

Back to top

Winthrop A. Rockwell, Chair

Win Rockwell is the founding Executive Director of Green Minneapolis, a multi-project parks and greening conservancy launched in 2015 to advance the greening of Downtown Minneapolis.  Initial projects of Green Minneapolis include the Commons Campaign to fund the construction and initial operations of The Commons, a new downtown park adjacent to U.S. Bank Stadium; and the operation of The Commons as Minneapolis’ first downtown destination park. 

Before Green Minneapolis, Win was a partner in the Minneapolis office of Faegre Baker Daniels LLP where he concentrated on strategy development for clients and FaegreBD itself.  Among his client work, Win led a team that advised Los Alamos National Laboratory on its innovation assets strategy that included a significant focus on energy.

Win currently serves on the Advisory Board of Climate Generation, a Will Steger Legacy; the Advisory Board of the Joint Degree Program in Law, Science & Technology at the University of Minnesota; and; and the Greening and Public Realm Implementation Committee for the 2025 Plan of the Minneapolis Downtown Council.  He previously served on the Minnesota Advisory Board of The Trust for Public Land and the Minneapolis downtown Gateway Committee.  He lives in Minneapolis with his wife Binky.

Win served as associate general counsel of President Carter's Commission on the Accident at Three Mile Island. Following the conclusion of his work on the Commission, Win was retained privately by the owner of Three Mile Island to conduct independent investigations of allegations of wrong-doing against the company. He subsequently testified as an expert before the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission in connection with his independent investigations. Win spoke at the 2014 Three Mile Island 35th Anniversary Symposium: The Past, Present and Future of Nuclear Energy sponsored by Stanford University and Dartmouth College.

Win is a Fellow of the British-American Project founded by the Royal Institute of International Affairs and the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Before law school, he worked on the Foreign Desk of the New York Times and as an Assistant to the President of Dartmouth College. He received his A.B. from Dartmouth College in 1970 and his JD from New York University in 1975.

Back to top

Amy Skoczlas Cole, Secretary

Amy Skoczlas Cole has worked at the intersection of the global environment and society for over two decades in Fortune 500 companies, foundations, and leading non-profits. She is expert on the many different facets of water, and its integral relationships with food, energy, and human well-being. Having held leadership positions in the US as well as overseas, Amy is a strategic dot connector driven to innovative new paradigms for a healthy, thriving society and planet.

Amy currently serves as Managing Director of the Water Main, a new national initiative from American Public Media Group to engage Americans in seeing and experiencing the value of water and the vital role it plays in all aspects of our lives.  

Before joining APMG, Amy was the founder of a strategic advisory firm focused on re-imagining the systems that deliver clean water, sustainable food, and renewable energy to society. As part of this work, she serves as the founding co-chair of the MN Sustainable Growth Coalition, a group of over 30 global businesses and organizations collaborating to drive a circular economy, regenerative and sustainable by design.

Previously, she served Pentair’s first-ever Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility.  There, she tapped into the company’s technology and expertise to build solutions for sustainable water, food, and energy. She led Pentair’s signature Project Safe Water with programming in India, Africa, and Asia. She also oversaw the company’s sustainability efforts and served as the executive director of The Pentair Foundation, one of the largest corporate foundations in Minnesota.

Before moving with her family to Minnesota, Amy was eBay Inc.’s most senior sustainability leader, where she led all aspects of eBay’s environmental programs, from creating eBay’s industry-leading strategy on renewable energy and water efficiency in data centers to engaging eBay’s 95 million consumers and employees in making more sustainable choices at scale.  These efforts were recognized with eBay being named to Newsweek’s Top 100 Green Companies and World’s Most Ethical companies lists. 

Amy started her career at Conservation International, where she became a founding Vice President of CI’s Center for Environmental Leadership in Business. Over the course of 13 years, Amy was a leader in CI’s efforts to design and build best environmental and social practices across key industrial sectors, including global agriculture, forestry, energy, mining, and the built environment. This work took her to threatened ecosystems around the world, from the cloud forests of Mexico to the savannahs of Africa and included a 3 year posting in Brazil.

Amy is a frequent speaker and presenter, and is the author of numerous articles and blog posts on re-imagining the interaction between people, planet, and economic systems, including co-editor of Footprints in the Jungle, published by Oxford University Press. Amy holds a BA in environmental public policy from Vanderbilt University and an MBA from George Washington University.  She currently serves on the board of directors of the Great Plains Institute for Sustainable Development and the expert advisory board for Ensia magazine from the University of Minnesota’s Institute on Environment. She lives in Excelsior, MN, by beautiful Lake Minnetonka with her husband, two children, and mischievous dog. 

Back to top