Leadership Team

Marnese Jackson
Co-Director, Community Engagement & Equity 
Pontiac, Michigan

Marnese Jackson is an Environmental and Climate Justice activist, advocate, trainer and educator from Pontiac, Michigan where she is a mother of two children London and Dawson. Marnese was previously with the Mothers Out Front in December 2018 as the Frontline Organizing Program Manager where she focused on building the base of Mothers in Frontline communities. During this time, Marnese was the staff liaison to US Climate Action Network, staff Equity Team and BIPOC Affinity Team member. Marnese also managed the Youth Global Climate Strike (2019) and Earth Day Live (2020). She is the former Midwest and Great Plain States Regional Organizer for the NAACP’s Environmental and Climate Justice Program. She was the Weatherization Coordinator for Oakland Livingston Human Services Agency and Energy Outreach Specialist for the Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office.

Marnese holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Interdisciplinary in Public Relations, Communications, Journalism and African American Studies from Eastern Michigan University and Masters of Arts Degree from Marygrove College in Social Justice specializing in Environmental, Economic and Racial Justice. Marnese is a board member of the USCAN, she is the membership chairperson of the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition, a Environmental and Climate Justice chairperson of the NAACP Northern Oakland County Branch. Marnese is a 2020 Michigan Clean Energy Leaders Cohort member and a 350.org BIPOC Cohort member. Marnese was appointed in 2021 to the Governor Whitmer’s Michigan Council on Climate Solutions.

Jacob Serfling
Co-Director, Manager of Building Policy and Technology
Des Moines, Iowa

Jacob joined the Midwest Building Decarbonization Coalition in the fall of 2021 after 8 years working as a commercial building energy efficiency program implementer. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Iowa State University and is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Iowa. Jacob serves as the Vice-Chair of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Iowa Market Leadership Advisory Board and has previously been a member of the City of Des Moines Energy Benchmarking Task Force and the Iowa Association for Energy Efficiency’s planning committee. Jacob resides in Des Moines, Iowa with his wife and two children. In his spare time he enjoys reading, pretending he knows how to garden, and getting out for long walks with the family dogs.

Margaret Cherne-Hendrick
Co-Director, Project Manager
Minneapolis, Minnesota

As Fresh Energy’s director of beneficial electrification, Margaret leads Fresh Energy’s strategic imperative to decarbonize fossil fuel-dependent sectors of Minnesota’s economy and advances policy aimed at enhancing carbon sequestration potential across the state. Margaret joined Fresh Energy’s staff in 2018. She previously worked as a senior policy associate at the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Boston University. Margaret’s multidisciplinary background in climate science and energy policy – including work with the Environmental Protection Agency, Conservation Law Foundation, Barr Foundation, and Home Energy Efficiency Team (HEET) – informs her approach to developing efficient, cost-effective, and inclusive decarbonization strategies. Margaret holds a PhD in Geography from Boston University, a MS in Organismal Biology and Ecology from the University of Montana, and a BA in Biology from Reed College. Her doctoral research explored the environmental and political impacts of continued investment in and consumption of natural gas fuels. Margaret is a member of the Minneapolis Energy Vision Advisory Committee. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors as well as spending time with her wife and dog.


Staff

Eric Fowler
Coalition Communications and Policy Associate
Saint Paul, Minnesota

Eric Fowler joined Fresh Energy in the Spring of 2021 to help grow the Midwest Building Decarbonization Coalition (Midwest BDC) and support Fresh Energy’s Public Affairs team. Eric manages the growing communications work of the Midwest BDC, supports Coalition meetings and operations, and helps make the case for an equitable transition to carbon free buildings that include communities most impacted by pollution and climate change.

Before Fresh Energy, Eric worked at the Chicago Jobs Council for 6 years managing external communications, and leading advocacy to reduce transportation barriers to employment. Founding and convening the Transit Table coalition, Eric advocated for public transit on behalf of community based organizations, and helped pass legislation ending driver’s license suspension as a collection tool for ticket debts in Illinois. Eric has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Gustavus Adolphus College. Outside of Fresh Energy, Eric enjoys baking, voiceover work, audio editing, and downhill skiing. He and his spouse have one dog, three cats, and way too many pictures of all of them.