Sustainability Expert Michael Mills Named Executive Director of Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance | Alliance to Save Energy

Sustainability Expert Michael Mills Named Executive Director of Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance

Release Date: Wednesday, July 6, 2011

SEEA is Wholly-Owned Subsidiary of DC-Based Alliance to Save Energy

Atlanta, Ga., July 6, 2011 – Michael Mills, an experienced corporate and nonprofit executive, fundraiser and spokesperson with a deep commitment to sustainability, is the new executive director of the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA), effective today.  SEEA is a nonprofit that promotes energy efficiency in 11 southeastern states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“The SEEA post is a tremendous opportunity to engage political and community leaders across the Southeast while also empowering businesses, consumers and our workforce to take part in creating a region that makes better use of its natural resources,” said Mills.

“I’ve spent my career in the corporate, public policy, nonprofit and political spectrums trying to engage stakeholders in a way that creates meaningful solutions to the problems we face. I was searching for an organization like SEEA that leads on critical issues by engaging people not only directly, but also through the civic process, and I look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with the staff and board of this vibrant group.”

Kateri Callahan, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Alliance to Save Energy, and a member of SEEA’s Board of Directors and executive search committee, praised Mills as someone whose considerable body of work and public service will inform his new role. “Michael Mills brings tremendous talents and expertise to the leadership of SEEA,” she said. “I look forward with great enthusiasm to working closely with Michael, the rest of the SEEA team and the SEEA board in designing and executing a long-term strategy to ensure that the recent notable growth in SEEA’s agenda and revenues are not only sustained, but amplified in the years ahead.”

SEEA Board Chair Greg Merritt, vice president, corporate marketing, at Cree, also served on the selection committee that tapped Mills. “Michael has launched both nonprofit and for-profit concerns, established strong roots and wide networks in the Southeast over the past decade, demonstrated a commitment to causes and public service and gained ample experience as a spokesperson through both his professional work and his candidacy for statewide office,” Merritt said. “In short, he brings the entire package needed to further SEEA’s already impressive track record.

Mills’ history of political and civic engagement includes working for a former Georgia secretary of state and lieutenant governor, a 2010 run for Georgia secretary of state and development of a statewide coalition of energy providers, consumers, local governments and unions to encourage use of energy efficiency, among other approaches, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Mills has a deep reservoir of issues management experience, including work on global warming at a number of public relations and public policy firms. In 2005, Mills began work as regional director for public affairs at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. As a member of the Sustainability Work Group, he drove the implementation and communication of all company-wide “green” initiatives while building awareness and support for such initiatives across the Southeast.

Mills’ honors include Georgia State University Communications Department’s 2002 alumni of the year and Georgia Trend magazine’s 2001 list of “40 Under 40.” Mills earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Hobart College and a master’s in communication from Georgia State University. Mills replaces Ben Taube, SEEA’s first executive director, who was central to the organization’s establishment as a “moving force” in the Southeast and phenomenal financial growth over the past two years.  Taube will remain affiliated with SEEA as a senior strategic advisor focusing on SEEA’s grant programs, particularly the U.S. Department of Energy-funded BetterBuildings Program (BPP). The goal of the BBP, a partnership establishing and/or expanding building energy efficiency programs in 12 partner cities and towns across eight states and the U.S. Virgin Islands, is to upgrade some 10,000 commercial and residential facilities over 36 months.

“It has been an honor to lead SEEA for the last four years,” Taube said. “When we began SEEA, we started with one office and one dedicated staff member.  I am honored to have grown SEEA into an organization with over a dozen staff, programs across 11 states and the Virgin Islands, major policy successes, a dedicated roster of Associate members and multiple offices across the region.”

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