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Tom Cotter (environmentalist)

Tom Cotter (born 1972) is an American conservationist , social entrepreneur, renewable energy advocate, and ordained evangelical minister living in Clovis , California .


Early life and inspiration

Tom Cotter grew up in Napa Valley , California , United States . A significant influence was the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). [1] In 1988, Cotter was awarded the title of Eagle Scout .

Professional career

In 1997 He Was ordained clergy at First Christian Church in Napa, California . He served as a pastor at Clovis Christian Church in Clovis, California from 1996 to 2006.

From 2006 to 2015 he worked in the US Photovoltaic Industry , starting at ReGrid Power, which was later acquired by Real Goods Solar , and later Sunrun .

He is currently Regional Sales Manager and Strategic Account Manager at Renew Financial for the California counties of Fresno , Madera , Tulare , and Kings .

He is a public speaker, [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] writer [8] and blogger addressing environmental topics such as solar , alternative fuel , electric cars , sustainability , stewardship and creation care . Cotter is often consulted by various groups and the media about these topics. [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17]

Personal life

Cotter resides in Clovis, California with his wife, Christi Gaither, and their three children. citation needed ] The family has a solar power and thermal system on their home. Mr. Cotter drives a 100% electric Nissan Leaf . Mrs. Cotter drives an alternative fuel VW Jetta TDI . The Cotter family uses vermiots to turn kitchen scraps, junk mail and paper packing materials into a nutrient rich soil for their garden and yard. quote needed ]

Cotter is a part of the California Climate Ride, a 320-mile bicycle benefit ride for bicycle advocacy and renewable energy on the California coast from Eureka, California to San Francisco, California.

Sustainability education and advocacy

Tom Cotter on PBS TV being interviewed about the future of solar .

In 2007, Cotter and Socient CEO, Victor Ramayrat, co-founded Green Fresno, [18] a free online community and information portal (in 2012 it was relaunched as Green Central Valley).

Cotter is the organizer and curator of the annual Fresno Solar Tour [19] share of the American Solar Energy Society ‘s National Solar Tour .

Cotter has been taught as adjunct professor [20] of Theological Ethics and the Environment at Fresno Pacific University .

Cotter is an Organizer of Fresno Earth Day , Inspiring and Mobilizing Individuals and Organizations to Exhibit their Commitment to Environmental Protection and Sustainability.

Cotter is a founder and coordinator of Fresno Green Drinks, an educator, public servant, activists, and people wanting to learn and inspire each other in the Fresno metro area. As of May, 2012, Green Drinks was active in 642 cities worldwide.

Cotter is the President and Chairman of the Board of Directors at the International Green Industry Hall of Fame, [21] which promotes environmental sustainability and recognition of organizations and organizations for outstanding achievement in the Green Industry. international public.

In 2012, Cotter became a Climate Leader in the Climate Leadership Corps with the Climate Reality Project .

Board of directors

Cotter currently on the board of directors for non-profits.

  • Solar Living Institute , Board Member
  • Restore Hetch Hetchy , Board Member
  • International Green Industry Hall of Fame, President


Cotter is a producer of the short documentary film , Forest Man. The film chronicles the story of Jadav Payeng , an Indian man who has just been planted nearly 1,400 acres of forest to save his island, Majuli , India . [22] The film is directed by William D. McMaster of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The film was released in the summer, 2013.


In 2010, Cotter worked with California’s No 23 Prop Campaign. Citation needed ] This proposal Would Have suspended AB 32 , a law Enacted in 2006 Legally Referred to as the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. Prop 23 Was defeated by California voters During the statewide election by a 23% margin. [23] [24]

In 2012, Cotter joined the board of directors for Restore Hetch Hetchy .

In 2012, Cotter worked to get the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to expand net metering in California. quote needed ]

In 2012, Cotter worked towards the passing of Proposition 39 – California Clean Energy Jobs Act . quote needed ]


  1. Jump up^ “RHH Board Member Profile” . Restore Hetch Hetchy . Retrieved 11 November 2015 .
  2. Jump up^ “Quality of Life – Alternative Energy” . Terry Phillips . KVPR Valley Public Radio . Retrieved 2008-12-09 .
  3. Jump up^ “San Joaquin Spotlight on Green Fresno” . Sevag Tateosian . KSFR Full Spectrum Radio, California State University Fresno . Retrieved 2010-04-01 .
  4. Jump up^ “The Future of Solar Power in the Central Valley” . David Hosley . PBS TV & Great Valley Center . Retrieved 2010-04-10 .
  5. Jump up^ “Fresno neighborhood goes green with solar” . Christine Park . ABC30 TV . Retrieved 2010-04-23 .
  6. Jump up^ “Sierra SIR Echo” (PDF) . Sounds In Retirement . Retrieved 2008-12-09.
  7. Jump up^ “Earth Day Celebration at Fresno State” . California State University, Fresno . Henry Madden Library . Retrieved 2008-12-09 .
  8. Jump up^ “Tom Cotter: We can go our way . ” Tom Cotter . Fresno Bee . Retrieved 2012-01-28 .
  9. Jump up^ “Study: San Joaquin Valley Has Potential for Local Clean Energy 100,000 Jobs” . BreAnda Northcutt . California Business Alliance for a Green Economy . Retrieved 2012-01-28 .
  10. Jump up^ “Central Valley on its way to being the green tech capital” . Amanda H. Miller . Central Valley Business Times . Retrieved 2012-01-28 .
  11. Jump up^ “California valley hires to your solar workers” . Amanda H. Miller . Clean Energy Authority . Retrieved 2012-01-28 .
  12. Jump up^ “San Joaquin Valley To See Cleantech Boom” . Susan DeFreitas . Earth Techling . Retrieved 2012-01-28 .
  13. Jump up^ “Solar Energy Resource Guide” . Claudia Wentworth . Northern California Solar Energy Association . Retrieved 2012-01-28 .
  14. Jump up^ “State Green Jobs Initiatives Need Federal Legislation” . Richard Matthews . Green Conduct . Retrieved 2012-01-28 .
  15. Jump up^ “Fresno Leaders Highlight Economic Benefits of Solar Net Metering to CA’s Central Valley” . Vote Solar . Retrieved 2012-03-22 .
  16. Jump up^ “Solar industry flourishes in the Central Valley” . Juanita Stevenson . ABC News . Retrieved 2012-04-10 .
  17. Jump up^ “Fresno Earth Day 2012” . Bill McEwen . 940 KYNO Radio . Retrieved 2012-04-12 .
  18. Jump up^ “Green Fresno” . Victor Ramayrat . Retrieved 2010-08-12 .
  19. Jump up^ “Fresno Solar Tour” . Tom Cotter . Retrieved 2010-08-12 .
  20. Jump up^ “What’s the Big Deal with Earth Day?” . Jessica Mast . Community Alliance . Retrieved 2010-08-12 .
  21. Jump up^ “International Green Hall Hall of Fame Board Members” . Retrieved 2012-01-28 .
  22. Jump up^ Manimugdha, Sharma. “The man who made a forest” . The Times of India . Retrieved 13 June 2013 .
  23. Jump up^ Summary of Ballot Measure Voting, California Secretary of State
  24. Jump up^ County Summary Status for the November 2, 2010, Statewide General Election, California Secretary of State, 3 November 2010

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