For Immediate Release: December 8, 2023
SACRAMENTO - The California Energy Commission presented six energy leaders with the 2023 Clean Energy Hall of Fame Awards Thursday for their courageous and outstanding work in helping California achieve a 100 percent clean energy future for all.
The fourth annual event featured special speakers as well as a ceremonial dance by the Sacramento Youth Group – Miwok Style Dancing California and a cultural performance by Samba da Terra.
Short summaries of the awardees are below:
Lifetime Achievement Award
- Cliff Rechtschaffen
Member, California Air Resources Board
Cliff Rechtschaffen was named to the California Air Resources Board in September 2023. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes an individual who has retired or announced their retirement during the year of the event who has at least 20 years of experience advancing clean energy, is considered a leader in their community, and has had a significant positive impact on California and frontline communities.
He was a commissioner of the California Public Utilities Commission from 2017 to December 2022 before retiring from fulltime public service. His career has been dedicated to advancing human-centered environmental protection policies. He has worked on climate, energy, and other environmental issues as a senior advisor to Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and in multiple roles with the California Attorney General’s Office, including litigating cases enforcing environmental protection and right-to-know laws.
As a law professor at Golden Gate University (GGU) School of Law, he helped students apply a human-centered perspective to environmental law by co-authoring the first environmental justice casebook and co-founding/co-directing GGU’s Environmental Law and Justice Clinic.
Youth Game-Changer Award
- Ava Acevedo
Student and Activist, Stanford University
Ava Acevedo is a climate activist and a Stanford University student who received the Youth Game-Changer Award. The award recognizes an individual 18 years of age or younger, or a leader of an organization focused on working with youth who are helping to advance California toward a clean energy future by combating climate change through innovative methods and inspiring a new generation of energy experts, entrepreneurs, and leaders who change the game.
She is a core leadership team member of the Green Schools Campaign (GSC). She founded the GSC chapter in her hometown of Lodi and led a campaign to install rooftop solar panels and promote efficient energy policies. The 19-year-old Stanford sophomore helps lead Fossil Free Stanford and is a member of Coalition for a True School of Sustainability, which both seek to cut ties between Stanford and fossil fuel companies.
- Linnea Jackson
General Manager, Hoopa Valley Public Utilities District
Hoopa Valley Tribe, Hoopa, CA
Linnea Jackson, the general manager of the Hoopa Valley Public Utilities District, was named the Tribal Champion. The award recognizes an individual who is a tribal member, tribal employee, or a person that works for a tribe who has advanced a clean energy future by combating climate change through innovative projects, long term service, dedication to implementing technology, or has served in a key coordinating role that has led to more equitable outcomes and/or transformational change for tribes or tribal communities in California.
In addition to overseeing daily utilities management, she has secured funding in collaboration with state and federal partners to promote community grid reliability and energy independence for the Hoopa Valley Tribe. She takes on legacy projects with the goal of having a generational impact on her community, and her mentorship and social media presence help inspire the next generation of California energy leaders.
Clean Energy Champions
Three Clean Energy Champions were honored for combating climate change and contributing to California’s clean energy future through their bold moves, leadership, and innovative ideas, while helping benefit communities in California through more equitable outcomes.
- Keith Fisher
Teacher, Calexico High School
Keith Fisher is a career technical education teacher at Calexico High School near the Mexico/California border. He teaches the school’s advanced auto shop class which trains students to build and maintain electric vehicles. The class prepares students for careers in renewable energy and environmental sustainability, which Fisher encourages students to pursue.
- Reverend Frank Jackson, Jr.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Village Solutions Foundation and Chairman Council of Presidents, New Mount Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church
Inglewood and Irvine, CA
Reverend Frank Jackson, Jr. is the chairman and chief executive officer of the Village Solutions Foundation. The faith-based community development organization based in Southern California mentors low-income and minority communities on finance and energy issues, helping them save money and the environment through appliance replacement, home weatherization, and energy stewardship education programs. He is determined to end fossil fuels to help his community.
- David Kaneda
Principal and Thought Leader, IDeAs Consulting
San Jose, CA
David Kaneda is the founder of IDeAS Consulting, a San Jose firm designing high-performance electrical systems for buildings. Since designing the first net-zero energy commercial office building in the United States in 2005, he has designed more than 40 net-zero construction and retrofit projects. He shares his strategies for innovative electrical systems at conferences and is developing new strategies to convert existing buildings to become all-electric.
To watch a video of the event and the awardees’ stories, view the CEC's YouTube playlist.
Learn more about the Clean Energy Hall of Fame Awards.
About the California Energy Commission
The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency. It has seven core responsibilities: advancing state energy policy, encouraging energy efficiency, certifying thermal power plants, investing in energy innovation, developing renewable energy, transforming transportation, and preparing for energy emergencies.