Chief Executive Officer

Job Location

Madison, WI


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Published Date

Mar 28, 2022

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Ballinger | Leafblad is pleased to conduct the search for Chief Executive Officer at Slipstream headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin


Slipstream is a nationally recognized 501(c)(3) whose mission is “Accelerating Climate Solutions. For Everyone.” Slipstream is passionately committed to providing leadership in clean energy, energy efficiency, decarbonization, and equity, through strategies, research and innovation, education and training, financing, program design and implementation, and policy and advocacy. Slipstream partners with a range of stakeholders, including local and state governments, federal regulatory agencies, utilities, philanthropies, and complementary organizations who share our passion to discover, test, scale, integrate, and manage the urgently needed equitable, front-edge solutions that save energy, money, and emissions for everyone, particularly historically marginalized communities, and to equitably decarbonize the places we live and work.

Created to be a vital, bold thought leader in the clean energy transition, Slipstream takes a holistic systems approach to evaluating the dynamic changes in how clean energy is produced, distributed, and consumed, and testing new ideas for feasibility, integration, and impact. Slipstream delivers results—in energy savings, emissions reductions, equity, professional skills, environmental integrity, community resilience, and quality of life.

To rapidly accelerate climate solutions, Slipstream empowers thousands of people to maximize impact in homes, workplaces, and communities based on the best available science. Slipstream and its partners are dedicated to advancing justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI), and bring a diverse range of knowledge, perspectives, tools, and insights to the work. These partnerships and their outcomes demonstrate the power of Slipstream’s collaborative approach and success.

Slipstream’s five vital areas of acceleration—research and innovation, energy finance, program design and management, education and training, and policy and advocacy—represent a humble, yet unwavering commitment to identifying barriers, advancing solutions, and generating resiliency for communities today and for generations to come.


Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation (WECC) was founded in 1980 with the purpose of training weatherization programs and bringing the benefits of energy efficiency to underserved populations. WECC partnered with the Department of Labor on a two-year, $4 million effort to develop a model of employment, training, educational services, and career opportunities for unemployed people and disadvantaged youth. In 1995, WECC pioneered an energy efficiency program that inspired behavior change through a community-based approach, including incentives and financing. This work led to contracts with utilities to implement energy conservation programs and to the development of Energy Finance Solutions (EFS), with programs across the United States.

In 1989, Wisconsin Center for Demand-Side Research (WCDSR) was established by Wisconsin utilities, regulators, educators, and community-based leaders to accelerate energy efficiency knowledge through statewide research across utility service territories. In 1995, WCDSR merged with Wisconsin Demand-Side Demonstrations to become the Energy Center of Wisconsin (ECW). ECW offered a broad range of energy efficiency services and increased interaction with private industry and the public. ECW changed its name to Seventhwave in 2015 to better illustrate its North American impact on energy and climate.

With a nation-wide track record of innovation and high-impact, energy-savings programs, WECC and Seventhwave merged and became Slipstream in 2019.

Today, Slipstream is a high energy organization of 160+ dedicated, passionate, professional, and talented staff members who bring unique skills and a high level of commitment to climate and equity. The words innovative” and “connected” encapsulate Slipstream’s positive culture.

Staff members seek to make extraordinary impact; they are ambitious about Slipstream’s mission and goals. Each day, staff strive for inclusivity and equity.

Besides physical offices in Madison, Wisconsin and Chicago, Illinois, Slipstream staff reside in many other states of the union. The distance motivates stronger connections and animates interactions resulting in a highly respected body of work.


Accelerating climate solutions. For everyone.


Change-maker Equity Champion Collaborator


Three of Slipstream’s four mission impact areas align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), goals intended to stimulate action over the next 15 years in areas of critical importance for humanity and the planet. SDG-aligned work includes:

Affordable and clean energy | Sustainable cities and communities |Responsible consumption and production | Reduced inequalities |Decent work and economic growth | Climate action | Partnerships

The Research and Policy agenda fuels new solutions to climate and equity.

Fair Energy Finance enables homeowners and businesses to break through financial barriers to complete clean energy projects.

The Program and Education Accelerator effectively reached people in response to the pandemic, as Slipstream pivoted to a virtual environment and developed new ways to reach people through food banks, virtual learning, video enabled quality inspections, and online energy modeling tools.


Slipstream prioritizes diversity and inclusion in all areas. To further this commitment, Slipstream collaborates with all communities to create clean energy, health, and economic solutions. Slipstream aims to attract and retain employees reflective of the diverse communities it serves.


Slipstream inspires new solutions to big energy challenges. Deep collaboration with partners empowers Slipstream to anticipate industry trends and design solutions that drive action.

Efficiency at Scale

Slipstream tests and delivers energy savings from the newest technologies.

• Performance-Based Procurement – Utilities gain cost-effective savings and broader program participation.

• Commercial & Industrial New Construction – Slipstream connects customers to incentives and provides technical assistance.

• Residential Programs – Slipstream’s industry experience and relationships increase homes’ energy efficiency, transforming the way retail consumers shop. Slipstream works with all, including limited-income populations, to deliver successful energy efficiency programs.

• Utility Business Models - Slipstream recommends regulatory policy changes to accelerate progress towards an economically sustainable future.

Financing for a Low-Carbon Future

Slipstream finances thousands of clean energy projects across the United States.

Slipstream’s Energy Finance Solutions (EFS) group designs programs to ease energy-saving upgrades and increase affordability for homeowners and businesses. Since 1996, EFS has worked tirelessly to advance low-Interest financing solutions for utilities, state agencies, and municipalities, helping over 50,000 consumers and businesses access $500 million in funds for energy efficiency improvements.

Emerging Tech & Human Factors

Slipstream inspires building professionals to adopt low-energy design approaches. Slipstream’s work includes:

Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings, Smart Buildings, Lighting, HVAC, Refrigeration, Plug Load, Codes & Standards, Market Characterization

Equity + Affordability

Slipstream was founded to reduce the energy burden in traditionally marginalized communities. Slipstream partners with community-based organizations to serve hard-to-reach markets. That commitment continues today through:

• Energy efficiency programs that lead to more affordable and resilient housing.

• Employment in the energy efficiency industry.

• Low-income customer programs.


Education & Training

Slipstream has developed and delivered effective energy efficiency training and technical support for professional, commercial, and residential builders. The organization’s vibrant training portfolio integrates hands-on problem solving and discussion to inspire and educate. To support professional certification and licensure requirements, the offerings include curriculum development, live and online programming; environmentally responsible event planning; website development, event marketing, registration, learning evaluation, customer service, and accreditation.



The Chief Executive Officer brings vision, energized strategic direction, and focused operational leadership to the organization. This dynamic, inspiring industry thought leader will collaborate with the Board and senior leadership team to achieve outstanding communication and collaboration, organizational impact, and competitive advantage in the marketplace. The CEO will motivate, establish and sustain an optimistic, inclusive, and healthy culture, mentor and develop organizational leaders, and align the organization toward growth, innovation, and the fulfillment of the Slipstream mission.

The Chief Executive Officer is a motivated leader giving urgency to the organization and elevating the organization’s mission and values while achieving its strategy, annual objectives, and goals. The CEO guides highly skilled professionals, a budget of over $50 million and a portfolio of successful, innovative programs.

Chief Executive Officer responsibilities include strategic planning, Board of Directors relationships, organizational development and leadership, business development, marketing, program management and financial oversight. This Chief Executive Officer will have strong interpersonal skills; a professional, enthusiastic, and genuine personality; a passion for advancing equity; a well-developed network; effective communication skills; an inclusive and empathetic approach; a capacity to build and maintain respectful and trusting relationships; and an ability to engage in productive, meaningful conversations with internal and external stakeholders in the climate space.


The Chief Executive Officer reports to the Board of Directors. Senior staff reporting to the Chief Executive Officer are the CFO and Executive Vice President of Program Implementation; Chief People Officer; Vice President of Information Technology; Executive Vice President of Market Development; Vice President of Research; General Counsel & Managing Director of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE); and Vice President of Partnership Development. A total of 160 dedicated employees work at Slipstream.


Slipstream is firmly committed to advancing justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion across all facets of the organization and throughout its work. Actively engaging with these efforts is not viewed as separate from the core set of the CEO’s responsibilities but, rather, is embedded throughout all aspects of the CEO’s work.

Strategic and Organizational Leadership

• Develop and implement an inspiring vision to align the organization and leverage Slipstream’s capacity to scale and accelerate positive climate and equity impact.

• Engage the board in vision and strategy work; provide the board and its various committees with timely information on issues, trends, and the accomplishment of goals and objectives.

• Build understanding around the mission and develop appropriate objectives, goals, and long-range strategies to advance that mission.

• Co-create a revised business model to ensure stable financial performance while meeting climate and equity mission goals.

• Match strong operational practices with good governance practices.

• Co-create and foster an inclusive, transparent, and collaborative work environment.

• Oversee the organization with the highest level of ethics and integrity.

• Measure and evaluate programs and amplify their relevance, impact, and connection to the climate and equity mission.

• Actively champion and engage with the efforts and initiatives of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Leadership Team.

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

• Build partnerships and coalitions with diverse stakeholders and communities.

• Listen to, learn about, and actively engage with the communities Slipstream serves.

• Implement innovative strategies that benefit everyone, particularly historically marginalized communities, in response to the climate crisis.

• Foster a culture that promotes and advances diversity and inclusion within the organization; practice honoring lived experiences different from one’s own.

• Appreciate and share a deep understanding of and connection with a broad range of backgrounds, perspectives, identities, and cultures.

External Relations

• Build external reputation and thought leadership by connecting the organization with critical partnerships, public-facing speaking and writing engagements, and collaborative projects.

• Build effective relationships with key stakeholders including board members, funders, financial institutions, clients, suppliers, employees, and potential partners.

• Collaborate with affiliate agencies and member associations to develop partnerships and initiatives.

• Represent the organization at legislative sessions, media, industry, and climate movement forums and formal functions; establish and maintain key government and stakeholder relationships.

• Advance thought leadership; participate actively in conferences and meetings of collaborative organizations; serve on select boards.

Talent Development

• Attract, develop, and retain a high-achieving, cohesive, and diverse senior leadership team.

• Direct the work of senior leadership; establish succession plans for key positions.

• Provide broad direction for, empower, coach, and guide an engaged staff.

• Model boldly and uphold principles and practices of diversity, equity, and inclusion in active leadership practices.

• Recruit diverse talent to the organization and promote active outreach to diverse stakeholder groups.


Slipstream is committed to providing innovative leadership in tackling barriers to a more equitable, clean, and resilient future. Ideally, the CEO should have certain fundamental experiences or skills—leading large teams and organizations, working with boards, engaging with internal and external stakeholders, managing large budgets, providing thought leadership. But even more importantly, the CEO should have a burning passion for and sense of urgency regarding the climate crisis and should feel deeply motivated to make a positive difference. If building a more equitable and decarbonized energy future isn’t what keeps you awake at night and what gets you up in the morning, there is no need to apply.

Desired Background Expertise, and Characteristics

• Fundamental knowledge of energy systems and related issues and knowledge of climate change mitigation, adaptation, and equity strategies.

• Operational leadership of functional areas such as programmatic portfolio, finance and accounting, fund development, human resources, facilities and support services.

• Experience working with or for a board of directors.

• A reputation as a thought leader on climate and equity issues.

• Well-developed external network among influencers, ideally in an area that strengthens the work at Slipstream including equity, community-based resilience, green finance, and policy.

• Success at building long-term partnerships with a focus on co-creation, community listening, and/or coalition-building.

• Understanding of and background in issues related to environmental justice and energy equity.

• Knowledge of and demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, with a high level of cultural understanding; commitment to equity and justice and experience building community-based partnerships.

• Effective relationship building skills and a passion for stakeholder engagement around equitable climate solutions.

• Excellent communication skills, including writing, facilitating and speaking to individuals and groups, including both internal and external audiences.

• Strategic, forward-thinking, innovative and creative. Visionary and motivational; a style that furthers the climate and equity mission.

• High emotional intelligence, self-awareness, empathy and authenticity.

• Humility, including listening, humor and lifelong learning skills.

• Engaged and visible leadership style with staff at all levels and an active and positive managerial style.

• Team orientation; encouraging collaboration, transparency and accountability.

• Ability to foster a culture that promotes and advances diversity and inclusion within the organization.


The compensation range for this position includes a target annual base salary of $220,000-$240,000, and participation in the organization’s benefits plan.


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Email cover letter and resume/CV to Lars Leafblad, MBA, Co-Founder/Partner, Ballinger | Leafblad,


We especially welcome candidates from diverse backgrounds and value the individual experiences and perspectives each person brings to our growing team. Candidates who identify as individuals of color and of all identities are encouraged to apply.