Meet the Kilowatt Ours Team
Jeff Barrie - Project Director
Jeff Barrie's dream is to build an energy conservation nation by working with households, businesses, schools and communities to reduce their energy usage. Jeff has been producing independent documentary films since 1993, films that show how we are all part of the solution to environmental challenges. His latest film and non-profit project Kilowatt Ours features an award-winning documentary film, a curriculum for K-12 schools, and an energy savings workshop series for low-income communities in partnership with NES (Nashville Electric Service) and TVA. Jeff is working on a new film project called "Pedaling a Dream" which he hopes will motivate more people to become involved in creating the clean, green world of our dreams. Jeff lives in Nashville with his wife Heather, and their two daughters, Lily and Antonina.
Heather is an artist, musician, and co-stars in Kilowatt Ours along with her husband, documentary filmmaker Jeff Barrie.
Jeff and Heather met at a coffee shop in Murfreesboro, Tennessee in 2000 and recently co-produced their first daughter, Lily, who is now three.
Heather provided key support for Jeff on the production of Kilowatt Ours, providing meals, creative input and moral support - During the making of the film, Heather and Jeff visited mountain top removal sites featured in the film, and then turned the camera on themselves to become part of the energy solution in their home in Nashville Tennessee.
Energy conservation has since become a way of life for the Barries, and keeping the energy bills low has become a team effort. Their energy conservation efforts include line-drying Lily's organic cloth diapers, making mindful use of the thermostat year-round, using ceiling fans to stay comfortable indoors, and powering down electric devices when not in use. Their electric bills remain around half the national average, even in Tennessee where average electricity use is much higher.
Conservation in the household has also sharpened the Barries' skills of compromise and negotiation, helping to keep their marriage strong, and helping them decide when to don the sweaters in the winter.
Jennifer Barrie - Youth Initiative Director
Jennifer has worked as an environmental educator in some capacity for over ten years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies and Geography from the University of California, Santa Barbara. After graduating, she lived and worked at outdoor science schools in California, and for the National Park Service in Yosemite and Joshua Tree National Parks as a Park Ranger. Jennifer served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Belize, Central America, where she lived and worked in a small community as an environmental educator and project coordinator. While in Nashville she has worked as a community organizer for a statewide citizen coalition called Citizens for TDOT Reform, researched and written studies for the Southeast Watershed Forum, and is managing a new farmers market for the 2008 summer growing season.
Lydia Smith - Director of Operations
Lydia was previously employed as salon manager, team leader and trainer for True Blue Salon in Nashville where some of her responsibilities included managing the day to day operations for a multi-million dollar company including a staff of fifteen; overseeing all advertising and marketing, service listing and creation of new services; and additionally, utilizing social networking sites to promote branding. In addition to being a long time advocate for earth friendly practices such as recycling, composting, and renewable energy, Lydia is also a voice over artist and creator of Lip Service Voice Over.
Gretchen Hagle - Project Manager
Prior to joining Kilowatt Ours, Gretchen was Marketing Director for Home Vision Entertainment in Chicago a DVD distributor specializing in international films—including the renowned Criterion Collection—and documentaries produced for public television. Gretchen created recycling programs for previous corporate employers and participated in an eco-village training program at Findhorn in Scotland. She believes great change is possible through individual action. In Margaret Mead's words, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
Daniel Joranko - Neighborhoods Coordinator
Dan facilitates the Kilowatt Ours Nashville outreach project. He has a PhD in Resource Development from Michigan State University. He also completed his Master of Divinity from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. He has considerable experience in community organizing. He was an organizer with the esteemed Northwest Community Organization in Chicago - mainly focusing on energy issues in low and moderate-income neighborhoods. His work was instrumental in the passage of significant state and city energy policies. While in graduate school he also served on the staff of a partnership between Michigan State and 20 neighborhood associations involving 40 AmeriCorps volunteers in environmental projects. He is adjunct faculty at Vanderbilt Divinity School - teaching courses in community development and urban church outreach. He also coordinates the VDS outreach program at Riverbend Maximum Security prison.
Cara Beasley - Screening Coordinator
Cara recently graduated from Boston University where she received a B.S. in International Relations, concentrating on Environmental Policy and Development and minoring in German language. In early 2007, Cara laced up her lederhosen and flew across the Atlantic to Germany. During her eight-month stay, Cara worked as an intern with the State Office of Environment and Geology in Saxony, Germany. While participating in two partially funded EU projects focusing on energy conservation and air quality, she learned how important it is for governmental agencies to work alongside non-profit organizations, individual citizens and private firms in order to achieve successful project implementation.