Meet Our Team

Dr. Philipp Herzog, Chief Executive Officer at CollectiveSun®, LLC, is an experienced management consultant to leading international clients in areas such as strategy, finance, and development of emerging PV technologies. His prior clients include Bayer AG, Škoda Auto a.s., and Evonik Industries. Philipp holds a PhD and Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Münster, Germany, and has developed Sunforce’s unique multi-layer software tool that can analyze renewable energy projects from various perspectives to provide different investor types and stakeholders (e.g. tax equity investors or sponsor equity investor) with specific information (return, payback, risk etc.) relating to their investment.

Matthew Brennan is the VP of Sales at CollectiveSun®, LLC where he manages all aspects of installer and customer relationships, sales and project development. Matt has extensive experience in commercial solar sales, nonprofit solar financing and project management. Prior to CollectiveSun, he worked as an industrial engineer for a network equipment manufacturer, a sales engineer for electronic equipment manufacturers and an operations manager for an industry-leading mechanical engineering magazine. Matt enjoys working with nonprofit executives and solar professionals alike to help bring clean energy to the nation’s nonprofits and forward the decarbonization of the grid. Matt holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of New Hampshire.

Jens Herzog, Chief Operating Officer at CollectiveSun®, LLC, is a former leading sales executive at SunTechnics Energy Systems Inc. (Conergy AG) who has sold many MWs of PV systems in California. He built the Sales Department for Conergy in the U.S. and sold the first residential and commercial solar systems for them. Among his clients were national grocery chain, a non-profit food bank, and other commercial entities in the U.S. Jens was instrumental in establishing the German American Chamber of Commerce in San Francisco and consulted and advised leading German solar companies on the renewable energy markets in the U.S. He is a German lawyer.

Lee Barken, CPA, LEED-AP is the Chief Community Officer at CollectiveSun®, LLC. He has broad industry experience in renewable energy project finance and public policy analysis. He is dedicated to helping nonprofits and mission driven organizations develop economically viable energy projects. Lee writes and speaks on the topics of renewable energy project finance, social entrepreneurship, and community financing. He plays an active role on the board of directors of Cleantech San Diego and the Impact Investment committee at Catalyst of San Diego and Imperial Counties. Lee received a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from San Diego State University where he graduated with honors and academic distinction.

Nicole Withrow is Director of Sales for CollectiveSun®, LLC, and she brings with her over 25 years in the tertiary sector from Los Angeles, California to the rural Midwest. She is an experienced sales manager, contract administrator, and fulfillment coordinator. Nicole is dedicated to developing strong relationships with contractors and nonprofits in her role at CollectiveSun by empowering them with resources and providing the support they require as they navigate their journey to solar. She believes passionately that: “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors – we borrow it from our children.” A proud mother of two amazing adult children, Nicole hails from an organic hobby farm in the rural Midwest in the heart of Amish country.

Danielle Mahoney Guthrie serves as the Marketing and Communications Manager at CollectiveSun®, LLC. She is entrusted with shaping the brand’s voice, orchestrating marketing and communication campaigns, and building connections both within the organization and beyond. She brings her creative experience from the nonprofit arena. Having navigated the unique challenges and rewards of nonprofit work, she carries a deep appreciation for meaningful impact and community-focused initiatives. Danielle enjoys residing in San Diego, California with her family and is invested in community upliftment, dedicating time to volunteer work and social programs in her free time.

Sam Blanchard is the Administrative Assistant at CollectiveSun®, LLC, assisting with operational and administrative needs. She has experience working for local and international nonprofit organizations, and she is dedicated to innovation and new ideas. Sam is passionate about improving processes and making sure everything runs smoothly, which is much needed in the ever-changing world of solar! Sam is also an alumni of the Journalism and Media Studies program at San Diego State University, and she works as a freelance content editor for several online publications. In her spare time, she enjoys spending quality time with her dog, Bindi, and finding new shows to binge-watch.

Rosana Francescato is Lead Writer and Analyst at CollectiveSun®, LLC. A seasoned communications professional with over a decade of experience in clean energy, Rosana led communications at two startups and a nonprofit before joining CollectiveSun. She has written extensively for publications like CleanTechnica, PV Magazine, Solar Power World, PV Solar Report, and Energy Central. Rosana’s passion for accelerating our transition to clean energy in a way that includes everyone led her to serve on the boards of several clean energy nonprofits and to volunteer installing solar with GRID Alternatives — where she was the top individual fundraiser at the Bay Area Solarthon for ten years in a row. She has a BA in English from Earlham College.

Craig Hunt, Board Chair at CollectiveSun®, LLC, brings over 40 years of experience in oil & gas, wind and solar projects. As a co-founder of Solar Power Partners Inc. and advisor on the founding of SunLink Corp., he has pioneered the development and utilization of PPAs as a primary financing instrument for the solar PV industry, having negotiated many dozen PPAs, including a master PPA with Safeway, a leading national grocery chain. Craig also utilized the sale and leaseback structure for one of the first solar PV project funds in the US. He worked as Senior CPA Manager at Arthur Anderson overseeing numerous leasing transactions, each requiring IRS letter rulings, and as Adjunct Professor of Tax at Golden Gate University. He was also a Navy Jag officer attached to the naval base at Treasure Island and retired there as a Commander.

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