Who We Are


What We Do –  Who We AreHistoryContact AIRE

Steve Owen, Ph.D. – Co-founder and Executive Director

Steve founded AIRE in the spring of 2007 as an outgrowth of his work organizing the Appalachian Coalfields Delegation to the United Nations. In 2006 and 2007, he led the delegation to New York City for the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) sessions on sustainable energy. Their participation helped connect the grassroots effort to end mountaintop removal coal mining with global civil society groups. Steve has an undergraduate degree in economics, a Masters in education, and a doctorate in public policy and sustainability studies. Steve has served on the faculty of the ASU Sustainable Development program. Prior to becoming involved in sustainable development, he worked for Outward Bound (North Carolina and Colorado), as a private mountaineering guide, a Nordic ski instructor, small business owner, and in corporate training and development in the U.S. and Venezuela.

steve [at] aire-nc.org

Jeff DealJeff Deal – Co-founder and Project Director

Jeff holds a bachelor’s in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics and has completed graduate courses in computer science and appropriate technology. During his 16 year Information Technology career in non-profits, academia and at one Fortune 50 company, Jeff has worked as a computer programmer (C/C++, JAVA, PHP, UNIX shell scripting), Relational Database administrator (Sybase, Oracle, MySQL, and DB2), and UNIX Systems Engineer (AIX, Solaris, and Linux). His renewable energy interests include community renewable energy development, distributed solar electric and thermal design, renewable energy metering and producer-consumer feedback systems, energy efficiency and sustainable transportation – most especially solar fueled electric vehicles. Jeff currently serves as an Information Technology Consultant for Appalachian Voices, where he worked on the iLoveMountains.org development team for six years.
jeff [at] aire-nc.org

Gary CamilleriGary Camilleri – Graduate Intern

Gary holds an undergraduate degree in Technology Education with concentrations in Construction and Engineering, and will be graduating this May with a Master of Science in Technology; Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment. While completing this progressive degree, he is also a full time high school AP engineering teacher. In this position, he teaches subjects ranging from drafting and design, 3D CAD modeling and computer integrated manufacturing, up through mechanical, fluid, structural and electrical engineering based topics. Throughout his graduate coursework, he has focused his studies primarily on solar photovoltaic applications and policy/legislative actions. Come June/July 2017, he hopes to begin a career in the solar/renewable energy field.

gary [at] aire-nc.org

Fiscal Sponsor

Inquiring Systems, Inc. – Sonoma, CA (strategic planning and business management consulting) S. Loren Cole, Ph.D. is the founder of Inquiring Systems. He is the founder, leader and contributor to many of the most important social issues of our time, including resource use and energy conservation, environment, civil rights and social justice, education, organic farming, hunger, refugee issues, low-income employment and training, equitable trade, international development, and other pertinent issues and conditions that effect people, communities and ecosystems. Loren is one of the founding members of Earth Day and was co-coordinator of the first Earth Day activities on the UC-Berkeley campus in 1970.

Consultants and Advisors

di Santi, Watson, Capua & Wilson – Boone, NC (transactional law, project counsel, organizational matters) Andrea Capua, Esq. is a business attorney who consults with community-owned renewable energy companies, and is also often-cited in state energy policy literature as the County of Watauga (NC) attorney whose memorandum to the county commission interpreted the North Carolina Mountain Ridge Protection Act such as to make wind power legal. Watauga subsequently became the first county in North Carolina to pass a wind permitting ordinance.

Energy Center, Appalachian State University – Boone, NC. Helps AIRE with critical energy policy research and other business related energy issues.

Brent Summerville, P.E. is a professional engineer and holds a master’s in Appropriate Technology, with a focus on renewable energy. He is currently the Practitioner-in-Residence at Appalachian State University’s Department of Technology and the Built Environment. He is also the Research Director for the Small Wind Certification Council. Prior to that, he directed the Western North Carolina Renewable Energy Initiative at his post in the Appropriate Technology department at Appalachian State University.

Deborah Warren has spent a large part of the past three decades working to promote social and economic justice in the southern United States. She currently is principal at Debby Warren Consulting. She has was the first Executive Director of both the Southern Rural Development Initiative and the Community Reinvestment Association of North Carolina. Warren has consulted with many local, state and national nonprofit organizations over the past ten years. Among her publications is Growing a Green Economy for All: From Green Jobs to Green Ownership (2010) published by the Democracy Collaborative at the University of Maryland.

Leave a Reply