Meet the Staff

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Executive Director

Charity Fain, since 2013

Charity Fain
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Charity has almost 20 years of experience building stronger communities in the US and around the world. As the Executive Director she is responsible for the overall management of of the organization and working with the Board in considering the strategic direction for the organization.  Prior to CEP, Charity worked as Executive Director at the City Club of Portland, keeping Oregonians informed about pressing public issues.

Before moving to Portland, Charity also served as the Country Director for Internews Network in Kyrgyzstan directing a program to build stronger journalists, radio stations and public interest television.

Charity has a BA in International Relations from The American University in Washington, DC and also speaks Russian.  In her free time, she chases around her toddler and preschooler.

Program Director

Sherrie Pelsma, since 2006

Photo of Sherrie Smith
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Sherrie is responsible for CEP’s outreach, and manages both the Community Education department and the Volunteer Services program.

Since graduating from Portland State with a BS in Sociology, Sherrie has gained over 12 years experience in grassroots organizing, mobilization, and outreach. She started at CEP as an intern after finishing a year of National Service with AmeriCorps.

She enjoys travel, photography, hiking, camping, and gardening.

Program Director

Peter Kernan, since 2018

Peter with sign that says efficient homes are win-win beacons of hope.
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Peter works to inform and educate people on the energy efficiency of their homes. Through Home Energy Scores and the Home Solutions program, Peter helps homeowner understand their homes and find pathways to increase the efficiency, value, and health of their homes, while decreasing operating and maintenance costs.

Peter’s passion for this work comes from having spent almost two full years of his life camping, much of the time working in outdoor education. He cares deeply about reducing energy consumption because of the compounding benefits to individuals, society, and the world. He joins Community Energy Project from Enhabit and has worked previously in energy modeling and education in his old home of Leadville, Colorado.



In-Home Services Manager

 Roc Aiken, Since 2017
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Roc is the new In-Homes Services Manager where he conducts in-home inspections, addressing the needs of seniors and people with disabilities.  Roc has lived in the Portland metro area since 1999.  He graduated from Portland State University, receiving a BA in Criminal Justice.  Roc was a former Probation’s and Correction’s officer.

Roc is also a veteran, he spent two years in the US Navy stationed in San Diego, CA.

Roc’s hobbies are fishing, cooking and traveling which in his opinion is therapeutic and relaxing.




Fundraising and Communications Manager

Cameo Konfrst, since 2018

Cameo with sign that says nurturing the communtiy through empowerment
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Cameo is the Fundraising and Communications Manager at CEP. She is driven by aiding others and leaving a purposeful impact within her personal and professional life. She runs on coffee and actually does enjoy running, both provide her with the ability to balance many tasks and derive results.

She has a M.S. in psychology and comes to CEP with experience working with other non-profits in arenas such as health, research, and arts. Her areas of insight are media management, engagement, and development. Not only does she enjoy crafting a narrative and a vision, but is passionate about building relationships within her community.

If she isn’t hard at work, she usually can be found with her two dogs traversing Portland and discovering new restaurants.


Jackie Arcouette-Smit, 2018

Jackie holding a sign that says everyone deserves a warm and comfortable place to live
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Jackie is the Bookkeeper and oversees the day to day financial obligations at CEP.  After graduating from the University of Portland in 1995 with a BBA in Management, she and her husband started a small window, siding and door replacement company.  They recently sold their business after 24 years in order to embark on a second act in their careers.  One of the things she enjoyed most about working in her former company was helping to make homes more energy efficient and comfortable for the people living there.

Jackie loves to spend time with her family and friends (including her 2 dogs, Frankie and Petie), go on hikes, read a good book, and sing in a community choir with her Dad.



In-Homes Program Coordinator

Dessiree Price, Since 2018

Picture of Dessiree holding up a sign of perseverance all things are possible, never give up.
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Dessiree Price is the baby of her family with four older siblings. She was born a natural leader who likes to take risks and always challenges herself. She has been on her own since she was about 15 years old, put herself through school, and made education a priority. She is a single mother who raised three children, while putting herself through college. Dessiree graduated with her B.S in Healthcare Administration along with a second degree in Arts and Organizational Dynamics.

Her strength comes from her upbringing, which paved the way for her future. Life wasn’t always easy but she has learned to sacrifice what she needed in order to provide for her family. She always knew her calling was to work with the community because she is a part of the community—what better way to serve than to provide for a neighbor. She is a spiritual person with a firm belief that with faith all things are possible and to never give up.


Community Educator: Weatherization

Charlotte Shuff, since 2018
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Charlotte has a background in renewable energy, advocacy for environmental justice, and community organizing. She is enthusiastic about the intersections of environmentalism and equity. She has a passion for learning and sharing information, drawing her to the position of Community Educator.


Charlotte graduated from Lewis & Clark College with a BA in Sociology & Anthropology with a focus on civil society and the public sector. When not at work, Charlotte can be found learning new crafts or playing chess at coffee shops around town.



Community Educator: Lead Poisoning Prevention

Haley Mountain, since 2016

Photo of Haley
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Haley is in charge of the Lead Poisoning Prevention program. Haley recently moved to Portland from Bellingham, Washington where she completed two service terms as an AmeriCorps member. During her service, she provided environmental education to elementary school students on topics including energy efficiency and water conservation.

Haley graduated in 2014 from Western Washington University with a B.S. in Environmental Science, a B.A. in Environmental Policy, and a minor in Spanish. In her spare time, she likes to explore new areas around the city and find cozy coffee shops and quiet parks to read in. She also enjoys downtime with her family and the occasional Harry Potter marathon with her cat, Oliver.


In-Home Services Technician

Aleksey Chernysh, since 2014


Aleksey is one of two Service Technicians who weatherize homes and make safety-related repairs for seniors and people with disabilities.

Aleksey was born in Tajikistan but moved to Portland from Ukraine in the year 2000. Aleksey has extensive experience as a cabinet maker, carpenter, and in general maintenance, before his desire to help people led him to CEP. When not working, he loves fishing (especially for halibut!) and vegetable gardening.

In-Home Services Technician

Yuriy Zaslavskiy, since 2017

Photo of Yuriy


Yuriy is one of two Service Technicians who weatherize homes and make safety related repairs for seniors and people with disabilities.

Yuriy was born and raised in Uzbekistan, then moved to Portland in 2014. Yuriy graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in economics from the Economic University of Uzbekistan. He has more than 20 years’ experience in information technology. Yuriy lives in Portland with his wife Olga and their two daughters, Nastia and Etel.  He joys spending time with his family and friends and loves working on computers.

Home Energy Score Assessor Lead

Jackie Zusi-Russell, since 2018

Jackie holding a sign that says conservation is a state of harmony between humans and land
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Jackie has a background in advocacy for non-profit causes, residential energy efficiency, and solar. She enjoys working with people to promote a beneficial relationship with the environment. She’s enthusiastic about home energy scoring as a way to foster greater awareness of energy use and conservation.

Jackie joins Community Energy Project as a Home Energy Score Assessor from Enhabit to continue to provide stellar customer service.  She graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a BA in Psychology and Minor in Environmental Studies.  Her background includes advocacy for non-profit causes, residential energy efficiency and solar. She enjoys working with people to promote a beneficial relationship with the environment. She’s enthusiastic about home energy scoring as a way to foster greater awareness of energy use and conservation.

When not working, you can find Jackie baking homemade dog treats or adventuring with her two fur babies. She also enjoys making arts and crafts for the people she loves.

In-Homes Auditor

Geoff Fey, since 2018

Geoff is a North Carolina transplant calling Portland home, since October 2017. He joins Community Energy Project with over 10 years of construction experience. His passion for conservation and the environment are evident in his educational background.

Geoff earned an AAS in Sustainability Technologies concentrating in Green Building and Renewable Energy. Plus, he holds a BS in Earth and Environmental Sciences with a Minor in Geology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

On his free time you may find Geoff deep in concentration on his yoga mat, exploring epic PNW swimming holes, or scooting around town on his orange commuter bike “Rad.”