C3 FUND INVESTMENT OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE

The MCEC Board of Directors appoints individuals to serve as members of the Investment Oversight Committee of the Climate Catalytic Capital (C3) Fund for certain defined terms, seeking those particularly with qualifications and experience in environmental finance and investment. Members are appointed with consideration of demographic diversity and statewide geographic coverage.

The charge of the Investment Oversight Committee (IOC) is to:

  • Evaluate and coordinate financing for qualified projects and clean energy technologies related to the purposes specified under subsection
  • Facilitate efficient tax equity markets for qualified project
  • Secure private investment capital for the financing of qualified projects
  • Make grants to other green banks in the state for the purpose of financing qualified projects Administer the fund and activities of the center in carrying out this part

Individuals who wish to be considered for future appointment to serve on the IOC, may submit an application at any time. 

C3 Fund Investment Oversight Committee Meetings are held in accordance with Maryland Open Meetings Act requirements. 

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BROOKE LIERMAN

Chair of the C3 Fund Investment Oversight Committee
Comptroller - State of Maryland

Brooke Lierman is the 34th Comptroller of the state of Maryland and the first woman to be independently elected to one of our state’s constitutional offices. After running a strong, policy-focused and grassroots-led two-year campaign, she was elected with over 60% of the vote in November 2022. She is an attorney by training, practicing as a civil rights and disability rights lawyer for many years, and prior to her election as Comptroller, she served for 8 years a member of the House of Delegates representing part of Baltimore City. While in the House, she spent time in leadership roles on both the Appropriations Committee and the Environment and Transportation Committee. Additionally, she was the House Chair for the Joint Committee on Pensions, sat on the Joint Committee on Ending Homelessness, and founded the Maryland Transit Caucus. Brooke successfully passed landmark legislation to invest in and improve public transit and public schools; end suspension and expulsion of young students; fund evidence-based gun violence prevention programs; aid sex trafficking victims; close loopholes in affordable housing laws, and create the office of statewide broadband. As Comptroller, she is dedicated to creating a Maryland that is more equitable, more resilient, and more prosperous so that all Marylanders can reach their full potential. She and her husband and two school-age children live in Baltimore City.

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JAMES MCDONNELL

Vice Chair of the C3 Fund Investment Oversight Committee
Chief Operating Officer - Avalon Energy Services, LLC

Jim McDonnell is the Chief Operating Officer of Avalon Energy Services, LLC.  In this role, Jim oversees the economic analysis, transaction structuring, and implementation of energy supply management, energy efficiency, and distributed energy resource projects.  He also works with clients developing energy-related commercial ventures.   

Jim has extensive experience in the energy industry, having held senior-level positions in a variety of areas; he has worked in capacities including operations, consulting, finance, and planning.   

Jim is a past president of the National Capital Area Chapter of the US Association for Energy Economics and a founding member of the Cornell Energy Systems Institute Advisory Council.  He earned a Bachelor of Science from the College of Engineering at Cornell University and a Master of Business Administration in finance from Oklahoma State University. 

Jim is passionate about expanding access to clean, reliable energy while protecting the environment, especially his beloved Chesapeake Bay, where he spends much of his leisure time. 

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ELORM ADDAE-NUKU

Committee Member
Director, Climate Finance - US International Development Finance Corporation

Elorm Addae-Nuku is a sustainable finance and climate investing executive with over 16 years of experience driving strategic financing and investments globally. He currently serves as Director, Climate Finance, at the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), where he structures blended finance solutions to catalyze private investment into renewable energy, energy efficiency, electric mobility, and climate-resilient infrastructure across emerging markets.

Previously, Mr. Addae-Nuku was Managing Partner at NativeCap Ventures, where he helped build a venture studio with a focus on sustainable housing development and helped deploy capital into projects utilizing clean technologies and green building materials. He has also held senior finance roles at BlackIvy Group, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and General Electric.

Mr. Addae-Nuku holds an MBA from the University of Rochester's Simon Business School, with a focus on Competitive Strategy and Finance. He earned his Bachelor's Degree in Economics from the University of Ghana.

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YINKA BODE-GEORGE

Committee Member
Founder, President, & CEO - Sustain our Future Foundation

Yinka N. Bode-George is the Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Sustain our Future Foundation - a national philanthropic nonprofit that transforms sustainable development to maximize community benefits and achieve environmental justice. By redistributing profits from the burgeoning sustainability sectors into community impact initiatives, the Foundation works to build free, thriving, and regenerative communities through consulting services, programs, and grantmaking.  

As an environmental health advocate, Yinka works to advance environmental justice and sustainable development through infrastructure development and social impact strategies. Prior to starting Sustain our Future Foundation, she led the strategy and management of Volt Energy Utility’s environmental justice and community impact practice as Volt’s Senior Manager and the Director of Volt’s community impact nonprofit. There, she piloted the Microsoft and Volt renewable energy and environmental justice framework agreement - a Power Purchase Agreement that leverages corporate emissions goals to support environmental justice, community and diversity initiatives. 

Yinka has served as the Environmental Health Program Manager for the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators. In that role, she facilitated state-level environmental health and justice policies by resourcing and organizing a national network of state legislators around zero waste and circular economy solutions, toxic chemical protections, and sustainable agriculture policies. As the former Public Policy & Program Manager for Maryland Philanthropy Network, Yinka cultivated opportunities for Maryland philanthropists to improve community conditions. Additionally, Yinka has served as program manager for Maryland Environmental Health Network, where she advanced policies that promote environmental health and justice for all Marylanders. 

Yinka received a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science, and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Health, from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. She received a Master of Health Science degree in Environmental Health from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. 

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WATCHEN BRUCE

Committee Member
President & CEO - Baltimore Community Lending

Watchen Harris Bruce is the President and CEO of Baltimore Community Lending BCL), a nonprofit mission-based lender and certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). BCL provides loans and technical assistance to small businesses and real estate developers in underserved and disadvantaged low-income communities in the Baltimore area.

Ms. Bruce has over thirty-five plus years of banking, development finance, small business lending, economic development, international development, renewal energy, training, technical assistance, and leadership development. She has extensive development finance experience, both nationally and internationally. Before joining BCL, she served as Managing Director/Chief of Party of a USAID-funded project “Investing for Business Expansion” (IBEX) project, access to finance, Economic Development, and a business development project in Liberia for five years. She also served as Deputy Managing Director/Chief of Party for another USAID-funded project “Liberia Agribusiness Development Activity (LADA)” for 3 years. On the national level, Ms. Bruce served as Vice President at several national banks in the U.S. including PNC Bank, Fleet Bank, and JPMorgan Chase, and Management Consultant for NeighborWorks America.

She is a graduate of Leadership Boston & Baltimore. She serves on the Maryland Community Development Network and Morning Star Baptist Church Five CDC boards. She is also a board member of the African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs, a Board member of the Kennedy Krieger Institute, and a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Consumer Advisory Board member and lastly, a member of Maryland Clean Energy Center’s C3 Fund Investment Oversight Committee.

Ms. Bruce is pursuing a doctorate in Organizational Development and leadership through Grand Canyon University, and she has completed all the requirements except the dissertation. She holds a master’s in business management from Cambridge College in Massachusetts, and Bachelor of Arts degree in Community Planning and Management from the University of Massachusetts, and a BA in French from the University of Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire.

She is a certified PNC Women in Business Lender and Certified Trainer and Coach with the Nehemiah Project International Ministries. Ms. Bruce was honored as one of the 100 Top Women Leaders in Baltimore by the Daily Record.

Ms. Bruce co-founded B’More Clubhouse in Baltimore, MD in 2009. This is a psychosocial rehabilitation program that offers employment, housing, and skills development for people with mental illness.

Al Delia

AL DELIA

Committee Member
Vice President - Frostburg State University

Al Delia is the inaugural vice president for regional development and engagement at Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Maryland.  He oversees the University’s efforts to help advance the region it serves through engagement with business, industry, community organizations and government. Prior to his return to Maryland in 2018, Al served in a variety of positions in academe and in government in North Carolina.  Positions he has held include service as Secretary of the NC Department of Health and Human Services; Senior Advisor and Policy Director to Governor Bev Perdue; CEO of North Carolina’s Eastern Region Development Commission; and East Carolina University associate vice chancellor for research, economic development and community engagement. Immediately before coming to FSU, Al was director of health access at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. 

Al is a political science graduate of Drew University in Madison, New Jersey.  He is married to Cecelia Karas and lives in Cresaptown, Maryland.  He has two adult sons, Jordan and Alex.

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MICHAEL GROSSMAN

Committee Member
Managing Director, Impact Investments - Social Finance

Michael Grossman brings over two decades of impact investing experience--developing and deploying innovative investment structures to catalyze financial, social and environmental outcomes--across a wide range of financial instruments in the United States and emerging markets.   

As Managing Director of Impact Investing at Social Finance, Michael focused on reorganizing operations and rebuilding the investment team to support growth.  He oversaw diverse, cross-functional teams that originated, structured, and managed $200 million in workforce finance credit facilities, as well as directing the launch of a blended-capital loan fund to support migrant access to higher education and an Impact-first Fund of Funds targeting family foundations and donor-advised funds. 

Prior to Social Finance, Michael launched the mission-oriented private credit business at New Island Capital Management where he originated, structured and managed over $300 million in market-rate credit transactions focused on the renewable energy, sustainable agriculture/natural foods, energy efficiency and energy-access sectors in the United States and emerging markets as well as a portfolio of green economy oriented private equity and public securities relationships.   

Previously, Michael managed Calvert Foundation’s international impact investing portfolio and was a Senior Advisor to McKinsey & Company’s Social Sector Office focused on financial inclusion and inclusive agriculture development.  Michael helped launch the African Development Bank’s Trade Finance business in response to the global financial crisis. 

Michael co-led the Africa team at Millennium Challenge Corporation where his team structured over $1.5 billion in grants to stimulate inclusive economic growth. 

Michael was Citigroup Country Officer in Tunisia where he was responsible for day-to-day management of Citibank’s commercial and retail operations. In addition, he was Citigroup Country Officer in Dakar, Senegal and Senior Operations Officer in Casablanca, Morocco. Michael helped create Citibank’s west African regional corporate finance/capital markets business based in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. 

Michael holds an MS in Finance from MIT Sloan School of Management and a BS from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. Michael is a Salzburg Global Fellow and a Chevalier in Senegal’s National Order of the Lion. 

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PAMELA KELLY

Committee Member
Director - First Tryon Advisors LLC

Pam Kelly has more than 25 years of experience in the public finance industry providing investment banking and advisory services to the government and not-for-profit sectors. She has significant experience evaluating and implementing financing plans structured with various funding and credit sources and has a particular interest in economic and community development initiatives. She has advised clients in the State of Maryland and nationally on tax-exempt and taxable financings utilizing general obligation and revenue bonds, appropriation and lease structures, tax credits, energy performance contracts, tax increment districts and community development authorities.  

Ms. Kelly is a registered Municipal Advisor, serves on the board of the Maryland Women in Public Finance and is a member of Maryland Government Finance Officers Association, Maryland Economic Development Association and Maryland Association of Counties. She received her undergraduate degree from Towson University and lives in Montgomery County, Maryland. 

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CHRIS PEOPLES

Committee Member
Managing Partner - PP&A

Chris is the Founding and Managing Partner of Peoples Partners and Associates (PP&A), a premier strategy consultancy firm. With over a decade of experience in strategy consulting, he specializes in unlocking growth opportunities for Fortune-listed and multinational organizations. Chris leads consulting engagements, structuring work plans tailored to each client's unique challenges and overseeing their execution. His expertise spans key sectors such as technology, energy, sustainability, and industrials, where he has successfully implemented both organic and inorganic growth strategies. In the energy sector, Chris has supported projects across the energy value chain spanning from upstream and generation to retail and grid-edge. Over this period, he has also helped acquire, finance, and deploy over $4Bn. in renewable and conventional generation assets and energy infrastructure projects. 

In addition to his seasoned strategy consultant role, Chris is a technologically savvy leader. He commands a broad skill set in full-stack development and data science, employing advanced AI and ML frameworks to derive data-driven solutions. Whether leading a project team of consultants or a development team focused on building complex web applications, Chris' multi-disciplinary approach ensures that his clients receive comprehensive, impactful solutions.  

Marissa Ramirez

Marissa Ramirez

Committee Member
Sr. Director of Strategy, Planning, and Operations for the Equity, Environment, and Justice Center - Natural Resources Defense Council

Marissa Ramirez is the Senior Director of Strategy, Planning, and Operations for the Equity, Environment, and Justice Center at the Natural Resources Defense Council.  She believes that meaningful change happens locally. Marissa has worked with neighbors and local leaders primarily in underserved communities of color on revitalizing communities by providing best practices and tools for a more equitable and sustainable future. Fostering a collaborative basis for bringing community knowledge and strategic analysis is core to her work to meaningfully adapt to climate change and collectively design solutions that advance community priorities. She is a co-author of "4-Steps to a Climate Savvy Community," which is designed for communities to find solutions to climate, health, and racial equity issues where they live.  She is also author and co-author of “Green Neighborhoods: Advancing Strategies that Create Strong, Just, and Resilient Communities” and “The Sustainable Square Mile Handbook: Cultivate Your Green Village with Community-Based Principles and Practices.” She has led new research to uncover the links between climate change, displacement, and gentrification in U.S cities.  

Marissa serves as Vice Chair on the Board of Directors for the Montgomery County Green Bank supporting residents and businesses in her community.  She has a Master’s in Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where she focused on urban environmental economics.  She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Yale University.  Previously, Marissa was a scientist at the National Institute of Health and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and continues to bring both her passion for human and environmental health to her professional work in communities. 

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JIMMY RHEE

Committee Member
Special Secretary - Governor’s Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs

Jimmy Rhee's public service spans international trade, economic development, and job creation. As Cabinet Secretary for Maryland Governor and Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Trade for Virginia Governor, he orchestrated trade missions, fostering collaborations with Asian leaders and launching economic development programs that fueled entrepreneurship. 

In Maryland, Jimmy advised Governor Larry Hogan on small, minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses overseeing economic and procurement programs across 70 state agencies including universities and casinos.    In Virginia, Jimmy promoted business growth and connected investments to energy and infrastructure projects, all while expanding local product exports. 

Jimmy has over 20+ years of private sector entrepreneurial experience in change management and enterprise growth, including turnarounds in manufacturing and software companies by leveraging evolving macro factors (e.g., shifts in politics/policies, technology, demographics, etc.) for economic strength. 

Currently, in partnership with the Livingston Group in Washington, D.C., Jimmy advises international companies and investment firms on the U.S. government and market, secures capital infusions, and facilitates middle-market M&A deals in energy, technology, and real estate sectors. 

Jimmy earned degrees from Johns Hopkins University (MAS/MBA) and the University of Maryland (BS).  He also studied law for two years, holds a professional certificate in sustainable energy from Stanford University Center for Development, and is a certified performance coach. 

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