These Bay Area Changemakers are Building a Brighter Tomorrow

These Bay Area Changemakers are Building a Brighter Tomorrow

MCE’s 13th Annual Charles McGlashan Awards Honor Local Leaders

February 20, 2024

Press Contact:
Jackie Nuñez, Bilingual Communications Manager
(925) 695-2124 |

SAN RAFAEL and CONCORD, Calif. — Three Bay Area environmental leaders are going above and beyond as champions of a healthier planet for the next generation.

MCE’s Board of Directors recognized three recipients of this year’s Charles F. McGlashan Advocacy Awards on February 15, 2024. The award was established in 2011 to commemorate the legacy of MCE’s founding Chairman, Charles F. McGlashan, and recognize local changemakers for their outstanding dedication to environmental leadership.

This year’s honorees include Chris Benz of Napa Climate NOW!, Karen Madden of the Marin School of Environmental Leadership, and Eden Housing.


"Our communities are better prepared to face the biggest challenge of our time because of outstanding partners like these,” said Shanelle Scales-Preston, MCE Board Chair and City of Pittsburg Councilmember. “We thank them for inspiring us all to keep charging ahead.”

Chris Benz, Co-founder, Napa Climate NOW!

Chris Benz championed the inaugural 2023 Napa Climate Summit which convened over 170 elected leaders, local governments and community partners to accelerate climate action in Napa County.

“Reducing emissions isn’t just a priority — it’s a necessity!” said Benz. “Together with MCE and local partners, we are catalyzing action to help reduce emissions and protect our communities.”

Karen Madden, Lead Teacher, Marin School of Environmental Leadership

Karen teaches an Environmental Leadership Seminar class at Terra Linda High School in which students collaborate with community partners to create solutions for real world issues. In 2023, she and her students partnered with MCE to develop an awareness campaign sharing the benefits of renewable energy.


“Young people are crucial change agents in addressing the issues that our world faces,” said Madden. “I was so thankful to partner with the MCE team who mentored my students about the benefits of renewable energy. My students were inspired to seek change in their local community, and there is nothing more powerful to a teacher than seeing creative ideas turn into positive action”

Eden Housing

Tom White and Ruthie Levin are leading Eden Housing’s project to electrify appliances in a 91-unit affordable housing property in Concord, enhancing energy efficiency. The initiative will switch from fossil fuels to cleaner, renewable energy sourced from MCE. Their efforts include participation in several energy efficiency programs, aiming to conserve energy and reduce costs for residents and properties of Eden Housing.


“We need solutions big and small that advance energy resiliency in affordable housing,” said Levin. ”We are doing everything we can to change the way we use energy at our properties. It’s a win for us, our residents, and the planet.”

MCE’s work is possible thanks to partnerships with outstanding environmental leaders. If you or your organization are interested in collaborating with MCE to advance our clean energy future, please contact us at


About MCE: MCE is a not-for-profit public agency and the preferred electricity provider for more than 586,000 customer accounts and 1.5 million residents and businesses across Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, and Solano counties. Setting the standard for clean energy in California since 2010, MCE leads with 60-100% renewable power at stable rates, delivering a 1,400 MW peak load and significantly reducing greenhouse emissions and reinvesting millions in local programs. For more information about MCE, visit, or follow us on your preferred social platform @mceCleanEnergy.

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