Our team

We're a team of passionate people dedicated to building a new future for Appalachia.  We are experts at what we do; we care how we do it; we view each installation and spreadsheet as a work of art.

 


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Dan conant, founder 

Dan's been in the solar industry for 8 years.  He has an MS in Energy Policy from Johns Hopkins, was the first employee of Vermont's largest solar installer, and is a former advisor to the US Department of Energy's SunShot Initiative.  In 2016, Dan was named one of Southern Living's "50 Southerners of the Year".  He's the one who figures out the best technology, dreams up our financing and training programs, and keeps us focused on helping more people than ever.

When he’s not dreaming up a new program, you’ll find Dan walking the C&O Canal or paddling a kayak on the Potomac with his wife Laura and his daughter Lucy.


david ward, lead installer

David is Solar Holler’s Lead Installer resident master electrician.  Prior to joining Solar Holler, David owned and led David Ward Electric, a residential and small commercial electrical contracting firm in Huntington from 2011-2016.  He has been a licensed electrician since 1997.  At Solar Holler, David oversees our installations from start to finish, making sure that each installation is perfect.

 

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Deacon stone, Outreach Director

Deacon Stone is a force to be reckoned with in his hometown of Huntington.  From promoting the arts, to creating a new Huntington, if there's a cool project going on in Huntington, odds are Deacon's involved.  Before joining Solar Holler, he was the Special Project Director at Coalfield Development Corporation (our partners in job training and apprenticeship), where he was an inaugural member of Coalfield’s solar training program.  He lives in Huntington with his wife Jessica (pictured) and their two children.


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Leah cunningham, solar guide

A native of Monongalia County, West Virginia, Leah has been a force for good in the Morgantown community for more than 10 years.  Before joining Solar Holler, she managed WVU's community engagement and volunteerism efforts, while serving on the Sustainability Committee.  As our resident Solar Guide, she helps families understand their options and all the ins and outs.  She's a great explainer-of-things, so it's a perfect fit.


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Adrianna battista, logistics coordinator

Adrianna was born and raised in South Mississippi, where she worked in the animal welfare industry and assisted with cleanup &recovery after the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. She has called West Virginia home for the past seven years, and lives in Huntington with her fiancé, two special needs dogs, and three cats.  At Solar Holler, she makes our installations go smoothly--managing our warehouse, and handling the dozens of logistical details each project requires.


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Brandon Nicolosi, Designer

Brandon came to Shepherdstown for college (go Rams!) and decided to stick around.   Since he studied environmental science and was already an ace architectural drafter, he quickly became our resident designer and system modeler.  Brandon's the one who puts together your proposals--incorporating every last detail from satellites and your utility bills.  He's a dog person (isn't Nora the Huskie cute?), and loves going to concerts.  


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Danny Chiotos, Solar Guide

Danny grew up in the D.C. suburbs but found his home in the hills and valleys of West Virginia.  He started organizing in West Virginia from the moment he started at Shepherd University.  He graduated with a bachelor's in Political Science and a passion for justice.  He's spent more than a decade logging time with the Student Environmental Action Coalition, the Keeper of the Mountains Foundation, the Sierra Club and more.  He now lives with his wife and three kids raising chickens, planting gardens, and hanging out with their dogs.  He goes to every Washington Nationals game he can get to and dreams that someday he'll actually catch a home run without dropping it.


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Steve Wenzel, Electrician

Master Electrician with Solar Holler since 2016, Steve loves his job, and loves electrical work so much, he says it's what he does for fun! A solid cornerstone on the team he oversees portions of installs, and even breaks away with Crew Members for simultaneous installations.


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Gary Barton, Journeyman Electrician

A former amateur bull-rider and team roper, this father of 6 girls loves to play basketball to stay in shape, and have fun. We are proud of Gary's service in the United States Air Force, where he also attended USAF college; and later obtained an Associates Degree in drug and alcohol abuse counseling. With a background in welding, and a foreground in electrical, he brings the best of his professional expertise and social experience to the team each day.


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Danielle Justice, Apprentice Electrician, Crew Coordinator

Danielle loves the outdoors, biking and camping, and enjoys being creative. Formally trained at Savanna College of Art and Design in Architecture, over the years she has worked in everything from framing to customer service. Her motto is "make it how you need it" and that's exactly what she brings to the Solar Holler team every day; solving problems, filling in the gaps, and bringing her design skills and attention to detail to the fore at every installation.


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Zachary Ferris, Electrician

Graduate of Collins Career Center's electrical program in Southern Ohio, Zach has wired boats and barges, performed general electrical and systems maintenance in HVAC, for large corporations, and for businesses and facilities in and around the Huntington West Virginia area and beyond. His systems-knowledge and electrical experience are a great addition to the skilled team at Solar Holler.


 

Our Partners at Coalfield Development

Developing Appalachian People & Places, to reach their full Potential, Power, and Purpose. This hard-scrabble team of innovators are working to rebuild the Appalachian economy from the ground up. Providing Crew Members from coalfield counties of West Virginia access to educational and work opportunities with a multi-enterprise approach, we're proud partners in the creation of the Rewire Appalachia enterprise; specializing in efficiency and renewable energy jobs, workforce training, and certification. 

 

Adam Warren, President: Revitalize Appalachia; Director: Rewire Appalachia

For over 3 years, Adam has brought myriad experiences in tourism, community development, enterprise and organizational development, and intense oversight skills to the Coalfield Development team. He has seen the organization through the launch of their innovative multi-enterprise approach, and serves as the president of their enterprise dedicated to construction, deconstruction, and renovation. Somehow he still finds time to expertly guide the Rewire Appalachia enterprise on its way to a fully independent enterprise in its own right! Read more about Adam here.

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James Likens, Crew Chief: Rewire Appalachia

James hails from Dunlow West Virginia, a town tarnished by a string of coal mine-closures which started in 2013. Since then the are's economy has collapsed, sending long-time residents and their families scrambling to forge a future for an area with an otherwise proud past. He has completed Coalfield Development's program, and serves now as a Crew-Chief of the Rewire Appalachia enterprise, training up a new generation of energy producers. He is EMT trained and serves on his local volunteer fire department; a job he loves so much he says it's what he does for fun!


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Ethan Spaulding, Crew Chief: Rewire Appalachia

Ethan is from Crum, West Virginia, where shifts in the local economy dashed his plans of a future in mining. He completed Coalfield Development's educational program with an Associate's Degree, and now serves as a Crew-Chief of the Rewire Appalachia enterprise. A skilled automotive mechanic with extensive and varied construction experience, Ethan has a sharp mind when it comes to getting from point A to point B... even when there are obstacles in between.


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Colton Memmot, Crew Member: Rewire Appalachia

From military service, to travels across the country, to work in a local steel mill Colton joined the Coalfield Development program in December of 2016 to bolster his education and experience, and focus his future on solar and renewable energy. He's earning his associates degree and installing beautiful solar systems all across the mountain state! Colton's attention to detail, follow-through, and can-do attitude position him as a leader among the solar installation crew.


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Tanner Lee Swiger, Crew Member: Rewire Appalachia

Tanner has done everything from construction to welding and general labor, he's attending Mountwest Community & Technical College under Coalfield Development's workforce/educational program. He loves to hike, hunt, and especially trout fish in and around Elkins West Virginia. He is quickly growing in experience on the installation crew, and seems to always be the first to fearlessly scrabble up to peaks and ridges helping plan installation layouts and get solar panels up onto even the steepest of roofs!


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Joshua Robinette, Crew Member

From Home in Virginia to Texas and back again, his families expertise in sustainable farming and livestock led him to an interest in agriculture and literal grass-roots growth. Inspired by the community and educational-centric, ground up approach of Coalfield Development and Solar Holler, he found an attractive mission-fit. From a background in all dimensions of keeping farm –from construction on up– this avid and experienced horse trainer is expanding his horizons pursuing his associates degree and solarizing West Virginia. Joshua spends his free time undertaking a myriad of outdoor activities; that is when he's not caring for his first passion, the farm.