Staff

Lola Schoenrich leads the Institute’s work on sustainable communities and energy efficiency, providing strategic direction, overall program management, fundraising, and facilitation.  Lola has over 35 years of experience in energy policy and community energy initiatives. She has extensive background in bringing diverse groups of people together to craft energy policy and implement projects in networks, coalitions, and working teams.  For example, she was one of the founders of the Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) and of GreenStep Cities. She spent nine years on the RE-AMP Steering Committee as the Working Group leader of the Energy Efficiency Working Group, and is one of the founders of the National Network of Statewide-Local Sustainability Organizations (N2S2O).  Previous to joining the Great Plains Institute, she was the Energy Program Director at the Minnesota Project, where she led the energy policy and coalition work.  In the course of her 20 years at the Minnesota Project, Lola also worked on numerous other projects, including community sustainability, waste management, recycling, household hazardous waste management and waste reduction. Previous to her work with the Minnesota Project, she was the Executive Director of the Self-Reliance Center (now the Sustainable Resources Center) running community-based energy efficiency and conservation programs in Minneapolis neighborhoods. Lola has a BA in biology from Hampshire College.