Board of Directors / Staff

Board of Directors

Maz Trieste, President

Marion (Maz) Trieste


Maz is the President of Trieste Associates Inc., based in Saratoga Springs, NY that began in 1998 to assist clients to help educate the public about toxic waste cleanup plans in their backyard. She is a dedicated public outreach expert known for her strategy, planning and execution to promote timely environmental improvements with a focus on emissions-free renewable energy across the U.S. She considers renewable energy a big part of the solution to the pollution. She is particularly renowned for her grassroots organizational skills and her ability to connect key stakeholders at affected communities. She is currently working to achieve solar energy goals in New York by helping to grow the USES network to share timely facts about solar energy and demonstrates how a group of organized, concerned citizens make a difference.

Jacob Deyo, Board Member

Jacob Deyo


Jacob is a competent Project Engineer with excellent communication, organization, and coordination skills. He is also a business owner and aspiring servant of the earth. He has spent his personal and professional life’s work in an attempt to make help heal a seemingly broken relationship between Mother Nature and the society. He is pragmatic, dedicated, and not as serious as this bios may make him seem.

Richard Perez, Board Member

Richard Perez

Richard Perez leads solar energy research at U. Albany’s ASRC. He has served multiple terms on the board of ASES and as associate editor of Solar Energy. He has produced over 250 journal articles, conference papers, books & chapters. He holds patents on energy storage, and load management using PV. He has received several international awards including a Certificate for Outstanding Research from the USDOE, ASES’ Charles Greeley Abbot Award; the First International Building and Daylight Award from the Velux Foundation, and ISES’ Farrington Daniels Award, for outstanding contributions in science, technology and engineering of solar energy applications which lead to enhancing our world and the conditions of humankind.

Peter Wirth, Board Member

Peter Wirth

Peter Wirth, activist, social worker, and organizer, has been active in social change work since the early 70’s when he worked on a voter registration drive in Mississippi. Since that time he has been involved in anti-war organizing, community social work and research, fundraising for Witness for Peace and the United Way, media work on Central America, occupational safety and health issues, third world development and mission programs and climate change since his retirement.He resides in Syracuse, NY and managed GW Associates, a public relations firm for over 20 years. Clients include local, national and international projects. For more information on GW Associates go to He is currently retired and  active in climate change work for the last ten years. He helped found an organization Climate Change Awareness & Action, On the home front he is working to move his home to net zero.

Anna Purpera, Board Member

Anna Purpera


Anna Purpera is a behavioral scientist with a background in human services, organizational behavior management, and community engagement.  She believes collective action is the only way to create a more sustainable future, and loves being part of USES because of our focus on empowering communities to make this transition.  She previously worked as the Outreach Specialist for USES, supporting monthly FUSES meetings, social media outreach, and fundraising initiatives.

Sara Schultz, Board Memeber

Sara Schultz


Sara has been active with USES since the beginning. She is excited that so much has been achieved already. In addition, Sara has been active with Sierra Club, holding the Chair position of the Niagara Group from 2017 through 2022. She also served on the state level with the Atlantic Chapter. She now serves as Vice-Chair of SCNG. Sara is most active in campaigns that promote renewable energy and zero emission vehicles. She also sits on the steering committee of the WNY Interfaith Climate Justice Community, chairs the Temple Beth Zion Sustainability Committee, is politically active with the NY Reform Action Center and serves on the Town of Amherst Energy Conservation Citizens Advisory Committee. When not out hugging trees and lobbying elected’s, Sara enjoys her family, especially the 7 grandchildren.

Board - Technical Advisors

Grant Cushing, Technical Advisor

Grant Cushing

Grant Cushing is President and founder of Brownfield Group (BG). Started in 1994, the company became one of the first national brownfield acquisition and development companies purchasing and repositioning more than 150 properties in the U.S. and Canada. Expanding into renewable energy, the company is presently developing commercial and utility scale solar projects across New York. He has over 25 years of environmental permitting and business operations experience nationally and internationally including multi-office engineering and environmental consulting. He served as a member of the executive management team for an international waste to energy company and started his career in research at a Fortune 100 oil and gas company. Grant has a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College and a Master of Science from the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the State University of New York at Albany.

Shawn Grasby, Technical Advisor

Shawn grasby

Shawn Grasby has been a Code Officer in Western NY since 2008. He resides in a small town with his wife and two kids near the  beautiful Letchworth State Park. He is committed to sensible sighting renewable energy projects while protecting the beautiful view shed of Letchworth State Park. Shawn has been involved with wind and solar projects since 2015. He is very familiar with local laws and local approval processes. He spends a lot of time on the ground working with local residents on sighting sensible renewable energy. Shawn is committed to making sure these projects are built to benefit local communities interests.

Haylee Ferington, Technical Advisor

Haylee Ferington

Haylee Ferington is a rural WNY soul through and through, spending her childhood in apple orchards, forest paths and on the wide shores of Lake Ontario. Having returned home to raise her daughter after ten years in urban settings from NYC to Denver, Haylee is wholly committed to maintaining the beauty of the place she lives, through clean energy generation and sustainable decision-making practices. She practices this in her professional life as the Community Relations Manager for EDF-Renewables.


Joanne Scanlon, Chief Executive

Joanne Scanlon

Executive Director

After a 30-year career in health care administration, Joanne has been an outgoing volunteer, working to address the climate crisis on both a local and National level. She is highly driven by concerns for future generations, and as a responsible steward of the earth.

Her involvement began in response to the Horseshoe Solar project, which was facing a small but vocal opposition spreading misinformation about the project and dangers of solar panels. She joined USES at that time, which has been invaluable in building her knowledge of Solar Energy and giving her the confidence to become a leader in local environmental and climate change groups. Working with the Sierra Club, she was the founding member of the Supporters of Horseshoe Solar, formed to address misinformation with facts. She is also a member of the Climate Solutions Accelerator, where she served on the Climate Collective Impact Steering Committee and is a co-chair of the Collective Implementation Steering Committee Energy Strategy Group. Lastly, she leads the “Color Rush Green” group as part of the Color Your Community Green Collaboration.

Through her various volunteer groups, Joanne continuously meets with municipalities and community groups on harmful effects of climate change and solutions that can be implemented locally.

Her expertise includes public speaking, grant management, program development, networking, and government compliance.

When she’s not busy with her volunteer work she enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, running, bicycling, and reading.