John Grieser, Owner
John’s passion for renewable energy was sparked in 2008, when oil prices peaked and he knew that something had to be done to ensure energy sustainability for future generations. He moved from Colorado to Oregon, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Renewable Energy Engineering from the Oregon Institute of Technology. Having worked for several large industry companies during school and after graduation, John noticed that he could make the biggest impact on the “front lines” of sustainable energy. This realization led him to found Elemental Energy with the goal of helping clients, both locally and internationally, to gain energy independence.
John is an Oregon Department of Energy Tax Credit Certified installer, a NABCEP Certified PV Installer, and an IGSHPA (International Ground Source Heat Pump Association) certified designer and installer. He previously worked in Research and Development at SolarWorld USA helping to advance next generation photovoltaic cell concepts.
In his spare time, John can be found standing atop a Cascade peak, skiing fresh powder, backpacking to remote vistas, or sampling the many microbreweries in Portland. As the old adage says, “you protect what you love, and you only love what you know.” John’s passion for outdoor adventure is evident in his fierce determination to protect the environment through the implementation of sustainable energy systems.
Brandon Little, Managing Director
Brandon’s interest in renewable energy began during his college days—while studying pre-med with the goal of becoming a surgeon, he ran a side business focused on investing stock in the sustainable energy industry. Although it wasn’t until several years later that he became interested in the renewable field as a career, he began investing his money in solar because he believed in its reliability and scalability. This belief transitioned into a full-fledged interest when he realized that, solar, rather than medicine, was the dominating force for change that he wanted to be a part of. With that, he returned to the Oregon Institute of Technology to earn a degree in Renewable Energy Engineering.
After graduation, Brandon worked for Imagine Energy, conducting building analysis and building energy systems design. After several years, seeking the added challenge and freedom that comes with being a part of a small business, he transitioned to join his former classmate, owner John Grieser, at Elemental Energy. Outside of work, Brandon enjoys any and all competition (he and John are corn hole champions!), music, travel, and spending time with his niece and nephew.
Laurel Hamilton, Project Manager
Based in Bend, Oregon, Laurel joins the team with an impressive resume of managing a solar installation company in sunny Los Angeles, as well as a background in community-based social services and international development. Thrilled to return to her home state of Oregon, Laurel holds an undergraduate degree in Biological Anthropology from Western Washington University and a Master’s from George Washington University in Global Public Health.
After living and working between Eastern Africa and Washington D.C., Laurel fell in love with solar upon realizing it’s widespread ability to create positive impact on the planet and health of our ecosystems. As a NABCEP Certified PV Technical Sales Professional, Laurel loves taking the time to educate anyone and everyone interested in reaping solar’s many benefits. Laurel is also a board member for Solar Oregon, allowing her to take her passion to another level by bringing solar awareness and education to the greater public.
Outside of solar, Laurel continues to work in global health as an active board members for a grassroots public health non-profit, Uganda Village Project. Of course, she also enjoys all things Pacific Northwest: cycling, snowboarding, hiking, camping, gardening, and healthy cooking.
Lex Francis, Office Assistant
A fifth generation Oregonian and native Portlander, Lex grew up camping, hiking, and kayaking all around the Columbia River Gorge. After planting her first tree at age eight, Lex became a lifelong advocate for environmental protection. A recent graduate of Portland State University, Lex is eager to put her Environmental Ethics degree into action by creating a cleaner, more environmentally conscious global community.
Having volunteered on ecological sites in New Zealand and Brazil, as well as with local PNW organizations Johnson Creek Watershed Council, Friends of Trees, and Xerces, Lex brings a wealth of hands-on conservation experience to our team. Outside of preserving the environment and keeping our office organized, Lex enjoys knitting, disc golf, climbing, running, snowboarding, and attending music festivals near and far.
Solar Energy Consultants
Alex J. Aldrich, Solar Consultant
Alex is a passionate believer in our need to preserve a healthy climate and planet, and develops residential and commercial solar energy systems in service of this ethic. Alex began his career in solar with a large system integrator on the central coast of California in 2006, and came to the Pacific Northwest in 2010 to enjoy its unparalleled quality of life, and continue spreading the solar gospel. He studied Business Marketing and English at the University of the Pacific in Northern California, along with classes in renewable energy engineering at UCLA and Caltech. Driven to effect positive change at a macro level, Alex also volunteers his time with clean energy-minded organizations like The Sierra Club, 350.org, and Environment Oregon. In his spare time Alex enjoys running or backpacking Oregon’s many trails, watching live music, and traveling in Latin America.
Les Kangas, Solar Consultant
Les brings over 35 years of business, management, and business development experience to our team. Holding a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from California State University-Los Angeles, Les' inspiration to work in the renewable energy industry was sparked ten years ago, after watching Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth" film. Since then, Les has facilitated 850 solar systems for homeowners, which will collectively offset about 200 million pounds of greenhouse gases.
An active member of the Sierra Club, Les was drawn to Elemental Energy for its non-profit work in partnership with Twende Solar. Seeking ways to go above and beyond to help the planet and its inhabitants, Les aims to drive the electric vehicle market towards rooftop solar to power their cars, closing the circle from rooftop to blacktop. He spends his spare time watching old black and white movies, playing soccer, collecting wine, and hanging out with his wife, Denise, and their two dogs, Shiraz and Lizzie Doolittle.
Terry Tomei, Solar Consultant
Terry holds a double-major in Communications and International Studies and a minor in Spanish from Penn State. While completing his degrees he immersed himself in numerous clubs, including Eco-Action and Amnesty International, which ignited a desire to enable people to demonstrate a new way of living. His dedication to the widespread implementation of solar technology was sparked while traveling in Northern Thailand. Realizing that what was working in rural Thailand must also work in urban America, he returned home to a job with Stelcor Energy, where he quickly rose to become the Regional Sales Manager. He joins Elemental Energy excited to continue helping people save money on their utility bills while promoting an environmentally balanced lifestyle.
Beyond solar, Terry loves food and music. He moved to Portland in 2010 to pursue music full-time, and can be seen playing regularly in drum circles or with his band, Sol Nectar. He has been to Africa twice to study African Drums, and has a strong desire to bring humanitarian solar projects to the people that have filled his life with beautiful music.
Wes Watts, Solar Consultant + Energy Storage Specialist
Set to graduate in May from Oregon Institute of Technology with his B.S. in renewable energy engineering, Wes joins our team with a passion for solar and energy storage solutions. After joining Elemental Energy as a part-time installer in spring 2016, Wes held a summer internship at Solar Plus on the island of Kauai, HI. Specializing in micro-grid applications, self-supply, off-grid, and energy storage systems, Wes gained invaluable insight on the direction of the PV industry with regards to zero export systems paired with energy storage. Returning to Portland, Wes rejoins the team as our off-grid, energy storage specialist, expanding our reach within this innovative sector.
With a last name of Watts, Wes is truly dedicated to the PV industry and expansion of clean power! Outside of renewables, Wes enjoys kitesurfing, sailing, surfing, skateboarding, and traveling with his girlfriend and pet hedgehog in his converted, solarized sprinter van.
Justin Hubbard, Field Manager
Justin hails from sunny SoCal, bringing over 10 years of construction management and solar installation experience to the Elemental Energy crew. Having completed over 450 residential, commercial, and ground-mount PV systems, Justin's extensive technical knowledge allows him to conduct efficient and professional installations while consistently exceeding customer expectations.
While backpacking through 21 countries from 2003-2005, Justin realized the immense impact widespread renewable energy can have on protecting the health of our planet and improving quality of life for underdeveloped communities. When he's not leading a solar installation, Justin can be found hiking, surfing, skating, kayaking, recording music in his home studio, or nurturing his hydroponic food garden.
Will Peak, PV Installer
Will joins the team from Kansas City, Missouri, and Denver, Colorado. He holds a Bachelor's of Science in Environmental Studies from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and brings a wealth of experience in solar installations, management, and customer service to Elemental Energy. In college, Will's dedication to protecting the environment was evident in his extracurriculars, including participation in sustainability workshops, as well as volunteer positions held with various Kansas City non-profits.
Recognizing that solar and other forms of renewable energy are sound platforms to alleviate illness and provide clean energy for continued growth, thereby improving the health of our planet and its inhabitants, Will joined a solar installation crew in Colorado, where he was quickly promoted to Crew Lead for his leadership skills. In his spare time, Will can be found actively exploring the outdoors—be it playing soccer, basketball, or frisbee, or golfing, gardening and trying new foods, and hiking and camping, Will thrives on spending time outside and specifically, in the mountains.
Anthoney Robinson, PV Installer + Energy Consultant
A graduate of Florence, Oregon’s Siuslaw High School, Anthoney served as a Marine in Japan, the Philippines, Australia, and Thailand. Working as a machine gunner and providing humanitarian assistance and army training, he earned a Humanitarian Assistance Medal and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals.
After leaving the Marines, Anthoney moved to Portland in search of another way to give back, finding Elemental Energy and falling in love with the power of solar energy. His passion has led him to simultaneously pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Oregon Institute of Technology. Weaving his work into his play, Anthoney enjoys taking his solar-powered van camping and to music festivals, and traveling every opportunity he gets.