RETAP members

Ralph Dickinson: RETAP Co-coordinator — B.S. in mechanical engineering, M.S. in environmental health, MBA, and registered engineer in Minnesota. His career focused on buildings, energy processes, and optimizing energy use. He managed hospital facilities, designed building systems at Ellerbe Associates, and developed and managed energy conservation programs for NSP/Xcel Energy and others. In retirement, Ralph has taught solar project financial analysis at St. Paul Community College and conducted recommissioning projects. He is currently involved in certifying Energy Star ratings for larger commercial buildings and interested in the concept of daily energy use as a performance measure for buildings and processes.

Rick Person: RETAP Co-coordinator — was program administrator of waste management and recycling, and right-of-way management for the St. Paul Department of Public Works for 29 years. He coordinated the city of St. Paul’s Environmental/Economic Partnership Plan and the city’s Urban CO2 Reduction Project, and was a member of the Sustainable Saint Paul Working Group. He is also currently a member of the planning commission of St. Louis Park.

Ran Bedekar — M.Sc. in Operations Research, McGill University (Montreal); M.B.A., Northeastern University (Boston). Thirty-eight years of experience in computer software, architecture, simulation, and business process re-engineering in both technical and management roles. Retired from 3M/Imation and joined RETAP in 2001. Ran’s specialty was Business Process Re-engineering, using computer simulation. This focus on saving money through using more efficient processes is what got him interested in RETAP after retirement.

Dale Bowman — B.A., Math, University of Minnesota. Thirty years in commercial and industrial temperature control, instrumentation, and motor control, including work for Honeywell; six years in mechanical contracting, commercial waste and water treatment, and industrial taconite; plus microwave application development. With the increased awareness of energy conservation in the 1970s, Dale became interested in finding ways to minimize energy requirements for all HVAC processes. Currently, in addition to work for RETAP, Dale consults with various groups/parties on energy saving processes or products, often with start-up organizations. He also volunteers with Andersen Elementary in Minneapolis (mentoring and science projects).

Diana Kuklinski — Registered Environmental Health Specialist and Permaculturist. Diana led development of the first commercial photovoltaic project in Bemidji, and served as the director of a regional environmental health program for the Indian Health Service where she developed a new program emphasis in sustainability. After retiring, she obtained an Associate of Applied Science degree in Sustainable Environment Technology from Northwest Technical College. Whether she’s researching energy or efficiency options, funding, conducting solar site assessments, designing renewable energy systems, writing grant proposals and reports, or crunching data, Diana enjoys working with communities to discover ways to reduce energy and greenhouse gas footprints.

Norm Ledeboer — B.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota. Worked for Caterpillar Tractor Co. for one year and then for Northern States Power Co. (now Xcel Energy), for 31 years total, in Plant Engineering and Construction and later in Research Department. Fourteen years’ experience in home inspections and home rehab work. Registered Professional Engineer (Mech), in Minnesota.

Chris Meyer – MAS in Environmental Policy Management Specializing in Energy and Sustainability. Thirty years in information technology developing software and supporting infrastructure at General Mills. Living in Winona, Chris is currently the Southeast Regional Coordinator of the Clean Energy Resource Teams and on the Board of the Southeast Regional Development Partnership of the University of Minnesota Extension. Her energy efficiency journey started with a desire to install solar panels. This led to a DIY project for a net-zero-energy home remodel and becoming a residential PV site assessor, community solar organizer, and coordinating the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society’s statewide renewable energy tour.

Michael Orange – MA in Urban and Regional Studies from Minnesota State University, Mankato, served Minneapolis as a city planner and environmental manager for 30 years, and wrote the first draft of the Minneapolis Sustainability Plan. After leaving the city he formed his private consulting business, ORANGE Environmental, LLC, and prepared over twenty analyses primarily for city clients. Studies included a zoning analysis for the City of St. Paul, a recycling study for the City of Farmington, and citywide carbon baseline assessments for 21 cities and Washington County. The sustainability assessment he prepared for the City of West St. Paul formed the basis for his subsequent work to integrate sustainability into the City’s zoning ordinance. He has assisted in the preparation of emerald ash borer management plans for the Twin Cities region and for three metro cities. He teaches a graduate-level course, Sustainable City Planning, at MSU-Mankato.

Anthony Pini — B.S., Physics, Mankato State University, B.S., Civil Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Registered Professional Engineer (PE), State of Minnesota. Thirty-five years experience as a consulting structural/civil engineer and project manager providing design and construction administration services to public and private clients. Anthony specialized in commercial and industrial site development and stormwater management facilities design.

Rick Polanski – BA in Physics (St. John’s University), BS in Materials Science (University of Wisconsin, Madison). Owned and operated a small manufacturing business for ten years. Worked with small businesses owners for 23 years in community development throughout the Twin City Area. Taught for 25 years as an adjunct professor at Dunwoody, North Hennepin Technical College, St. Paul College, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, and Normandale. Contracted with the U.S. EPA Region 5 office for 10 years as a Class V underground injection well inspector. Involved in the start up and development of Minneapolis neighborhood recycling program.

Rin Porter — B.S. Speech, Northwestern University; M.A. and Ph.D, Speech and American History, University of Minnesota. Taught communication studies at the college level for 28 years, including 20 years at St Cloud State University. Volunteer for the Minnesota Land Trust for eight years, monitoring conservation easements and receiving training on conservation issues. As one of the founding members of the Central Minnesota Clean Energy Resource Team (CERTs) beginning in 2003, Rin monitored alternative energy efforts in the 10 counties of that region and worked through a grant for CERTs, writing alternative energy case studies for its website. Served for 10 years as a member of the Todd County Planning Commission (2006-2016).

Stan Sattinger — Mechanical Engineering degrees from MIT, Cornell, and Georgia Tech. Thirty-eight years experience in mechanical testing and dynamics/acoustics research with Westinghouse Electric Corp and Siemens Power Generation in Pittsburgh. Registered Professional Engineer (Mechanical), State of Pennsylvania. Recent training and experience in energy efficiency and home performance auditing, including a year with Conservation Consultants, Inc, of Pittsburgh. Certifications include Minnesota Residential Energy Auditor; Energy Audit Thermographer; and Air Balancing and Airflow Diagnostician.

Paul Schollmeier – Paul is a Certified Professional under the Building Performance Institute (BPI) label, an industry leader in residential home efficiency and analysis. Paul is also a certified radon measurement technician through the American Association of Radon Science Technicians (AARST). He is a retired middle school science teacher. Paul holds an MA in instruction from Saint Mary’s University and a BA from the College of St. Teresa. He and his spouse, Chris Meyer, have remodeled a 50-year-old two-story ranch in Winona for near net zero energy use, and they have worked many hours promoting renewable energy, home energy efficiency, and sustainable living.

Tom Segar — B.Ch.E., University of Minnesota. Nineteen years of service at St. Paul Ammonia Products Co. in Pine Bend, later N-Ren Corporation, performing research on fertilizer manufacturing (two patents issued). His work included cost analysis, chemical plant design and construction, fertilizer plant operations, and environmental improvements. Segar became involved in environmental programs in heavy chemical manufacturing two years before U.S. EPA was formed, an joined Koch Refining Company in 1980 as Environmental Manager of its Pine Bend refinery. He worked for 18 years with management, engineering, neighbors, and regulatory personnel to continue the growth of the refinery to supply transportation fuels to the Upper Midwest, while simultaneously reducing its environmental impact. Assisted other operations of Koch Industries in improving their environmental performance, including reductions in releases as well as establishing reporting programs to document such compliance operation to the regulators.

Barb Thoman — Twenty years of experience in transportation with focus on bicycle and pedestrian access and safety, complete streets, public transit, parking policy, transportation finance, and policy and legislative change. Co-founder and Executive Director at Transit for Livable Communities (TLC) until 2015. TLC administered a $28 million federal program to increase safety and access for walking and bicycling. Served five years on the Metropolitan Council’s Transportation Advisory Board. Previously, worked ten years in solid waste management for state and county government. BA in Financial Administration from Michigan State University.

Mike Vennewitz — B.A. in Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics, North Dakota State University. M.S. in  Oceanography, Baruch Institute, University of South Carolina. Brings 25 years of experience in environmental regulation and consulting in the areas of nonpoint source pollution, wastewater management, environmental remediation, vehicle emissions, and industrial compliance with air, wastewater, storm water, solid waste, and hazardous waste regulations.