Kelly‘s passion for the environment was cultivated early in life on her family’s farm in Kentucky. She’s found her life’s work in improving the health of our ecosystems and fighting climate change in local communities across Kansas and Missouri.
Kelly is Executive Director of Metropolitan Energy Center (MEC), where she has filled various roles since 2009. She was inducted into the Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Hall of Fame in 2017 and was named an Agent of Change for her leadership in transportation sustainability by the Kansas City Regional Clean Cities Advisory Board in 2010. She serves on the Metro KC Air Quality Forum, Equity Committee of Climate Action KC, and many other climate and energy policy groups across Kansas and Missouri.
In her free time, she enjoys supporting area farmers markets, barn dancing, and cheering on Sporting KC.
David Albrecht is Co-Coordinator for the Kansas City Regional Clean Cities Coalition. He helps manage clean fuel deployment programs for the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency, working with everyone from small school district bus fleets to national long-haul trucking companies. He also manages MEC’s energy efficiency demonstration home, Project Living Proof, and would love to give you a tour!
Since joining MEC in late 2013, he has also managed training programs in hazmat and environmental remediation, assisted in grant and development opportunities, and currently runs the Clean Cities Twitter account. David has B.A.’s in History and German from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a Master’s in East Asian Studies from the University of Kansas. Prior to MEC, he was Director of Business Research at the Greater Kansas City Chamber and before that, Executive Assistant at the Consulate-General of Japan. When time permits, he enjoys keeping bees, bicycling, gardening, and whitewater kayaking.
Miriam joined MEC in December 2019 as a Program Coordinator. She previously worked for the Missouri Department of Economic Development as an Economic Development Incentive Specialist for the Community Development Block Grant program.
She received her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with concentration on International Business and minors in French and Economics from Truman State University. She is currently working on her Master’s of Public Administration at Southeast Missouri State University.
When Miriam has free time, she enjoys hiking Missouri’s many state parks and conservation areas with her dog, and exploring new restaurants in Kansas City.
Taylor joined MEC at the beginning of summer 2022 as the Clean Cities Intern. A Kansas City native, Taylor grew up in the heart of the metro area becoming closely familiar with the ins and outs of the city. He recently graduated from Drake University with his Bachelor’s in Sustainability & Resilience and Spanish, leading him back to his roots in Kansas City where he started his professional journey with the MEC team.
The environment was something that always fascinated him growing up, so much that he decided to pursue Environmental Science when he started college. The importance of sustainability became clear to him as his interest of it grew, realizing how prevalent and necessary this field would become over the next years.
Outside his passion for bettering the environment, Taylor is a musician who plays a range of instruments and produces all his own tracks and vocals. You can catch him performing at local venues under the stage name Tay Dreamin’ as he continues to grow on his musical journey.
Kasi is an Americorps VISTA serving one year of federal service at MEC where she is helping build capacity within the Development and Communications teams. Kasi, who holds a Masters of Sustainability Leadership from Arizona State University, has a strong devotion to increasing community resilience in the face of climate change. Originally from Nebraska, she has grown to love Kansas City and enjoys exploring all the city has to offer. She also spending time with her family, hiking and “creeking”, all things history related, reading, crafting, and gardening.
Amanda joined MEC in Fall 2021 because of her passion for nonprofits. She believes in the collective power of individuals to create lasting change. Amanda is passionate about helping others lead healthier lives and is excited to offer her administrative skills to MEC to further their efforts of lowering carbon emissions and making homes safer for all.
Amanda has worked as an office manager in the past and a yoga teacher in studio, school, and outdoor settings. She also serves on two board of directors. In her free time, Amanda enjoys walking and hiking, reading, and spending time with her family.
As development director, Joy Ellsworth supports the growth and future of MEC as it responds to emerging connections between the energy sector and everyday people. With an MPA from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Bloch School of Management and a fundraising certificate from the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership, Joy focused her formal training on nonprofit management, social entrepreneurship and diversified fundraising. Informally, for over two decades Joy has run her own businesses while consulting for small businesses on capacity improvements and marketing.
She actively volunteers for numerous KC-area environmental nonprofits and is board president of Clement Waters, a community environmental organization she co-founded with her husband. When Joy is not working or volunteering to make collective futures brighter, she dotes on two darling children and two fuzzy furbabies
Prior to joining MEC in 2021, Mary worked in the sustainable built environment industry conducting energy assessments, testing, consultation, and overall experience in the field of building performance in both the residential and commercial sectors.
Mary founded Small Step Energy Solutions LLC which became a leading home energy assessment provider, as well as a building consultant for sustainable new buildings and homes. During this time, Small Step worked with municipalities – including the Kansas City, MO codes department – to review and update building energy codes. She also worked closely with area developers to create sustainable developments and multi-family housing based on equity goals. Mary then moved into commercial-business sustainability, helping start-up businesses in passive house panel construction; energy benchmarking; and efficiency upgrades in commercial HVAC systems. She currently serves on the Programs Committee for the USGBC Central Plains Community; and the Equity Committee for Climate Action Kansas City.
In off hours she enjoys the great outdoors with her husband and dog; practicing aerial arts; and watching Royals baseball games.
Brittanie joined MEC as an AmeriCorps VISTA member in October of 2020. She came to MEC after completing a previous AmeriCorps service year in the City of Evanston, IL’s Office of Sustainability where she led climate education initiatives and facilitated the city’s compost program.
In October of 2021, Brittanie came on board full time as MEC’s Building Performance Associate. In this role, she manages the Healthy Housing Taskforce, co-manages the Energy and Water Benchmarking program, creates social content and newsletters, and conducts community outreach and events.
Brittanie received her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Vanderbilt University. When she has free time, Brittanie enjoys going to concerts, cooking Caribbean dishes, and canoeing in many of Missouri’s lakes!
Brandt joined MEC in the fall of 2020 as a Program Coordinator. His focus is in the transportation sector, specifically advocating for electrification of vehicles and infrastructure development in the Midwest region. He is a Co-Coordinator for the Kansas City Regional Clean Cities Coalition.
Prior to his position at MEC, Brandt was a member of Bridging the Gap’s city-wide recycling team. He received his bachelor’s degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology with a minor in Chemistry from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, where he also went on to complete his Master’s in Bioenergy.
Outside of work, Brandt enjoys time with his family, traveling, and learning about investment strategies. He hails from Chicago and continues to have a vested interest in all Chicago sports teams, rain or shine!
Justice is a community leader, social justice activist, and political strategist. He fights for representation everywhere and broke barriers as the first openly gay multicultural college wrestler in the NCAA. Now in politics, he worked on the Biden campaign in the African American, LGBTQ, and Pacific Islander division of the 2020 Joe Biden Presidential campaign. He was also senior advisor to the Missouri for Biden team as well.
As an African American, Caucasian, Pacific Islander, Native American, and LGBTQ individual, he represents the many communities he comes from and currently serves on the Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney’s Advisory board and the Kansas City Streetcar Advisory committee. Justice is one of the many voices of the future here in our community.
Shane joined MEC in January 2022 as a Sustainable Transportation Intern. He grew up in and around the Kansas City metro his whole life and has a deep connection to the KCMO area – and all the cities laying outside it. He has lived in both urban and suburban areas, and currently lives in a rural area, so has experienced the different lifestyles firsthand. Shane’s passion for renewable energy, and environmental science as a whole, began as a way to give back to his community and to help those around him.
Shane is currently a senior at UMKC working on his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science. He is also a student representative for the Chancellor’s Board for Sustainability and has an ongoing project focused on implementing a climate resilience plan for the university.
Jeff joined MEC in 2022 as a Project Specialist. Before joining MEC, Jeff managed expedition boats on the West Coast from Southeast Alaska to Cabo San Lucas, mushed dogs in the mountains of Wyoming, and conducted air quality and emissions research in the oil and gas basins of the Rocky Mountain West.
Jeff has a bachelor’s degree in Communications – Public Relations, teacher training in Secondary Education – Journalism, and a Master of Science in Soil Science. He currently lives in Kansas City with his wife, dog, and a couple of porch cats.
Ana joined MEC in July 2022 as an intern. She assists with different transportation projects, and wants to do more with community outreach and event planning. Ana is a student at UMKC majoring in Sociology and Environmental Studies. She plans on going into wildlife conservation but is open to any career that protects the planet or the people living on it.
In her free time she likes to paint, hike, and explore new coffee shops with her friends.
Pamela joined MEC in January 2022 as a Sustainable Transportation Intern working on the Streetlight Electric Vehicle Charging Project. She is a full-time student at UMKC working towards a bachelor of arts in Environmental Studies and a Minor in Sustainability.
Pamela retired from the U.S. Army a year ago and moved to Kansas City from Alaska to begin her studies. She is married to her husband Scott and has three twenty-something children. One of Pamela’s favorite past-times is berry picking on the Alaska tundra. She loves anything outdoors and also volunteers at Cave Spring Park in Raytown, MO.
Danielle is one of two Customer Service Representatives at MEC who is helping local building owners input their energy and water data into Energy Star Portfolio Manager.
In November of 2011, Danielle began working in the energy efficiency and building performance industry as an Administrator for Small Step Energy Solutions. Occasionally going out in the field and assisting with energy audits and HERS Ratings were two of her favorite duties. During her time at Small Step and prior, she contracted and volunteered for several local Kansas City nonprofit organizations such as United Services and Smiles Change Lives to name a few.
In Danielle’s spare time, she enjoys cooking and hosting for family and friend events, relaxing on her patio with great music, trips out of town, and football season.
Jeff currently helps develop/administer MEC Contracts; and assists with other administrative and project tasks, as well. He brings extensive air quality, health (public health and clinical research), management, and administration (contracting and purchasing) experience to the table. He has a Master’s in Public Administration and in Government/Business Relations; and BA in Political Science.
He is most interested in finding ways to help businesses and local governments cut costs by going green. In his free time, Jeff likes hiking, traveling, photography, gardening, and reading.
Emily joined MEC in 2019. In addition to leading MEC’s policy and advocacy efforts, she is the Project Coordinator for our terminal truck electrification project.
Prior to joining MEC, Emily worked at a health information technology corporation for over six years spending three on their Benefits & Wellness team. She managed multiple programs and events for employees all over the world. However, she decided to change her career path and received a master’s degree in Social Work in 2019. More than ever, Emily believes social workers have an ethical responsibility to advocate for a sustainable future, ensuring everyone is included.
Emily is a lifelong resident of Kansas City, KS. During her free time she enjoys antique shopping and spending time with her friends, family, and her favorite person on the planet – her niece, Grace.