It's a Wrap!
The yearlong celebration of CGA's 20th Anniversary concluded June 7 with a "Wrap Party" at Erickson Farmstead in Isanti, Minnesota. The weather cooperated for the outdoor reunion and everyone in attendance enjoyed the charming venue, lawn games, music, ice cream truck, photo booth, and much more!
There was a special surprise for Beth Soholt when the CGA staff presented her with a North Star Award for Persistence and Leadership to commemorate her 20 years leading the organization. The North Star award was custom made by an artist in Ellsworth, Wisconsin.
After dinner, there was short "fire-side chat" with Paul White, Joe DeVito, Julie Voeck, Adam Sokolski, and John Moore who shared stories and memories of CGA's early days. Paul White, who was at the inaugural press conference when Wind on the Wires was established, recalled Bill Grant's vision of needing a "road to market" for wind energy. Joe DeVito talked about working in the early years as board chair to put the structure in place for WOW, such as the state and MISO working groups, which is the structure we still use today. Adam Sokolski shared a story about getting in the car with Beth and others on a road trip to southwestern Minnesota where folks were clamoring for wind development, but there was not the transmission infrastructure to deliver it to the grid. Adam also hinted at some changes and the work ahead for CGA. Julie Voeck remembered the visit that Beth made to NextEra headquarters to convince them to become a member. She stated that CGA works hard on issues and tackles them head-on to find solutions. She referenced CGA's role in identifying the need to tackle siting issue. Ultimately, Beth's proactive effort in bringing the issue to philanthropic and other partners resulted in the formation of the Land & Liberty Coalition. Finally, John Moore spoke about the early years working on MISO issues and complimented CGA's great competency and understanding of the issues. John said he works with regional groups all around the country, and "CGA is by far the best of them all."
Following the remembrances, the crowed enjoyed a special performance from mind reader extraordinaire Mark Toland, who also strolled the crowd amusing guests with his "powers." The program concluded with a special video that provided a bit of history of CGA and some of the significant impacts we have made over the past two decades.
As we conclude our celebration, we hope you have enjoyed the special blog posts and social media over the course of the last year; and thank you for sharing your memories and big moments with CGA as we celebrated our 20-year milestone. Your involvement in our work over these two decades has been paramount to our success, and we look forward to the next chapter of CGA history.
Enjoy a sneak peak at photos from the Party!