Who We Are
Solarize Indiana is a non-profit, apolitical, volunteer-based organization driven by a steering committee with experience working on Solarize initiatives across Indiana since 2015. Previous initiatives were focused in Columbus, Bloomington, and Northern Indiana.
Columbus Community Solar Initiative
Barry Kastner is the Treasurer of Solarize Indiana and the Volunteer Administrative Coordinator of the Columbus Community Solar Initiative. He is a board member of Energy Matters Community Coalition, Inc., whose mission is to reduce local contributions to global warming through smart public and private energy choices. He trained with the Climate Reality Leadership Corps and is a frequent public speaker on climate change. He is a mentor to students of the Climate Restoration team which seeks to inspire the community and elected officials to take valiant actions against climate change.
Barry was Treasurer of the Board for seven years of the tri-county Advocates for Children agency, the court-appointed special advocates program for abused and neglected children. He is a member of the Bartholomew County Solid Waste Management Citizens Advisory Committee. He serves on the City of Columbus Plan Commission.
Barry studied City Planning and Environmental Design at the University of Virginia, He worked as a VISTA volunteer with a housing rehabilitation program and later served as Executive Director of the Charlottesville Housing Improvement Program. He earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration from UVa. Barry and his wife, Kathleen Leason, moved to Columbus, Indiana, in 1988, where they raised two daughters.
Barry worked for twenty-eight years at Cummins, a global leader in power systems, in Finance, Marketing, Service, and Information Technology and served on Cummins Climate Change Strategy Team. He was a Certified Management Accountant and a Six Sigma Green Belt.
In his spare time, Barry likes to obsess about the pressing global issues of our time.
Solarize East Central Indiana (ECI)
Northern Indiana – SUN Partnership
Leah Thill is the 2021 Board Chair of Solarize Indiana, and part of the founding board. In 2017 and 2019, she led the local Solarize teams in northern Indiana encompassing South Bend, where she resides, and Goshen, Elkhart, and Marshall County. Currently, she coordinates with Solar United Neighbors on the Northern Indiana Solar Co-op. In her day job, she works for the Michiana Area Council of Governments on clean transportation, clean air, clean energy, and brownfields programs. Previously, Leah served as the Technical Advisor for the SolSmart Program funded by the Department of Energy, leading 7 local governments to earn solar-ready, solar-friendly designation for making it easier, faster, and more affordable to go solar. She attended the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs, with a Master of Public Affairs and a Master of Science in Environmental Science with concentrations in Energy and Sustainability, and Goshen College for undergraduate studies. Leah also serves as the Board Chair for The LGBTQ Center in Northern Indiana, and is an organizer of the informal Michiana Electric Vehicle Network of local electric vehicles drivers in northern Indiana which participates in the annual National Drive Electric Week expos in the region. Leah is a lifelong Hoosier from southern Indiana. The inspiration for her interest in clean energy and transportation were her aunt and uncle and parents who installed solar panels in the early and mid 2010s respectively, a research project into dye-sensitive solar cells at Penn State during undergraduate studies in Chemistry, and her grandparents who have been driving an electric vehicle for about 8 years. Her desire to take action to protect our local and global ecological systems is rooted in her upbringing in a Mennonite church nestled in the Hoosier National Forest in southern Indiana that emphasized creation care as well as exposure at a young age to other cultures and climate sensitive landscapes, from Costa Rica to Botswana.
Madeline Hirschland works full-time as the executive director of the not-for-profit Creation Care Partners (CCP). CCP engages synagogues and evangelical churches across Indiana to serve as models of caring for creation through deep energy conservation and clean energy. Madi believes that change will come when we speak up about the crisis in language that those not yet engaged can hear and take bold action – for instance, going solar!
Columbus Community Solar Initiative
Mike Mullett is both a co-founder and current Board member of Solarize Indiana. In that capacity, he volunteers his time and talents principally as Team Lead for SI’s Advocacy as well as our Duke Energy Indiana and CNP (Vectren) DG Case Teams. Mike helped found SI coming off his experience as a co-founder, Steering Committee member, and first volunteer Administrative Coordinator of the Columbus Community Solar Initiative (CCSI). CCSI organized around the Solarize model of community engagement and mobilization originally developed in Portland, OR to assist households, businesses and community groups to “GO SOLAR” as a means of taking control of their own energy production and consumption to confront the Climate Crisis.
Prior to his retirement, Mike was a public interest attorney engaged in the private practice of energy, utility and environmental law. He resides with his wife Patti March most of the year in an historic home in Columbus which they purchased in 1984 and had restored sufficiently to be one of the homes featured on Columbus’ 1987 Historic Homes Tour. The rest of the year, they reside in a new home they completed in 2018 on the Underwood Bluff of the Columbia River Gorge in southwestern Washington State. Both homes have solar arrays designed, fabricated and installed to provide sustainable energy at an affordable cost while being aesthetically subordinate to the strikingly historic character of their Indiana home and the breathtaking natural setting of their Washington home.
Indianapolis SUN Partnership
I was born in Pennsylvania and went to Penn State University and studied Agricultural Engineering. I spent two years as an officer in the US Army Corps of Engineers. One year was spent in Vietnam during the famous Tet Offensive. I worked for the Indiana Farm Bureau Co-op for 28 years as an engineer and manager during the birth of the clean water and clean air acts and the Arab oil embargo in 1973. It was at that time that I started thinking about our dependence on fossil fuels. However it was not until later that it became apparent to me that the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere was causing global warming.
I am a registered Professional Engineer and have been doing consulting in the area of organizational development and operational improvement for over 20 years. I have been very involved in the environmental movement my whole career and more intensively since 2006 when my church began the journey to become a Green Sanctuary accredited congregation. I am presently chairperson of Hoosier Interfaith Power and Light, a Solar United Neighbors Indianapolis team member, and a board member of Solarize Indiana. My wife and I live in Indianapolis and have had solar panels on our home since 2012 and an electric car since 2018.
Fort Wayne SUN Partnership
Solar Indiana Renewable Energy Network (Bloomington)
Anne Hedin went solar when her granddaughter was born in 2012, at the beginning of a heat wave. Members of the Solar Indiana Renewable Energy Network (SIREN) advised her through the process and she has been volunteering with the group ever since. Since 2016, SIREN has organized annual Solarize campaigns in Bloomington and South Central Indiana, resulting in hundreds of new household installations. Anne is also a founding member of Indiana Solar for All, which enables low-income households to obtain a system by donating materials and trains grant recipients and community volunteers to install them. ISFA has helped 24 families go solar in this fashion between 2018 and 2022.
In 2019, Solarize Indiana was able to secure a grant from the Energy Foundation to hire one part-time Coordinator. The Coordinator’s role is to extend outreach into new areas around the state, support existing teams, and increase the capacity of the organization overall.
Hannah Kasak-Gliboff joined Solarize Indiana as Statewide Coordinator in September of 2021 after graduating from NYU Abu Dhabi and moving back to Indiana earlier that year. Having been involved in solar advocacy in Bloomington in her high school days, getting involved with Solarize in a more formal capacity felt like an ideal fit.
After studying public health in crowded cities in Ghana and China, Hannah felt that the most pressing human rights issue was in fact the environment. Realizing the disproportionate impact the United States has on the global climate and people around the world, she felt that confronting the climate crisis from home was the most constructive next step for her. Outside of her work with Solarize, Hannah is interested communicating the urgency and importance of environmental care to wider audiences across political and social divides.