Liesl was a critical catalyst for Michigan’s clean energy efforts beginning in 2008, and the application of her work after leaving state government resulted in the formation of Michigan’s first trade association dedicated solely to the emerging clean energy industry in this state – the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council (EIBC). Following the launch of EIBC, Liesl was instrumental in building relationships between the clean energy business community and state and federal policymakers while collaborating with energy experts and regulators to spearhead innovative energy policy. As president of the EIBC, Liesl oversaw the growth of the premier organization dedicated to advancing clean energy business interests in Michigan.
Prior to the creation of 5 Lakes Energy and Michigan EIBC in 2010, Liesl was Deputy Director for energy programs at the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor, & Economic Growth (DELEG). Liesl previously held a series of roles involving natural resources, environmental and agriculture policy in state government, from policy advisor in Governor Granholm’s office, to legislative liaison for the Michigan Department of Agriculture. She also worked as a consultant for Accenture before joining the public sector.
Liesl completed a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Michigan State University while working full-time, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Economy from MSU’s James Madison College.
During Governor Granholm’s tenure, Skip was the director of the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth and served as the state’s Chief Energy Officer. He also served as the governor’s Special Advisor for Renewable Energy and the Environment, and chaired the Great Lakes Offshore Wind Council. Skip also served on the U.S. Department of Energy’s energy efficiency and renewable energy advisory committee, providing guidance to the Secretary of Energy on energy policy and programs.
Earlier in his career, Skip was the deputy director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and assistant attorney general in charge of Michigan’s Consumer Protection Division, where he chaired the Department of Attorney General’s Public Protection Practice Group. He practiced environmental protection and natural resource law and served as legal advisor to the Michigan Natural Resources Commission and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Skip successfully litigated one of the largest natural resource damage cases in the country. The $172 million Ludington Pumped Storage Facility settlement resulted in the mitigation of fish mortality, conveyed thousands of acres of pristine waterfront properties to the state, and created the Great Lakes Fisheries Trust.
Skip has received numerous public service awards and citations, including the Michigan Energy Hall of Fame, Leader of the Year by the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association, Guardian of the Great Lakes by Clean Water Action, Conservationist of the Year by Michigan United Conservation Clubs, and has been a recipient of the Mary C. Lawton Award for Outstanding Government Service by the American Bar Association. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Wayne State University Law School.