Richard Hallas (Founder)
Richard is a globally recognized thought leader and senior executive with 25+ years of experience telecommunications and clean energy.
He has held senior leadership positions at Nokia, ZeroBase Energy, Cambridge Clean Energy, Fluidic Energy and Zero Mass Water. Richard's broad leadership and technical expertise expand internationally including working in Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Kenya, Ghana and implementing micro grids in India and Haiti. Most recently Richard has been working in Madagascar where he helped launch the rural, renewable energy 100 Villages Project with a USTDA Grant. Richard founded Support Green Communities in response to his desire to bring high level consulting and best practices to energy and telecommunications projects in developing countries with a strong emphasis on developing key competencies and knowledge in local teams. The organization is primarily focused on providing technical and managerial education as well as a certified training program. Richard has always been passionate about bringing opportunities to those who need it the most from developing renewable village electrification projects to improving access to reliable communications.
Mia Becze (Advisory Board Member)
Mia is a postgraduate candidate for the MSc in Africa and International Development at The University of Edinburgh. Previously, she was Africa Program Associate at The Schooner Foundation in Boston, USA.
Through her experience working in the field of sustainable agriculture and social impact investing, Mia is a proponent of practical, sustainable energy projects with a focus on local capacity building and innovative green systems.
Mia has worked to promote the development of small and medium sized agricultural companies in East Africa. She has been instrumental in a rage of projects, including the launch of a program to mentor and facilitate investor partnerships for growth-stage companies in Kenya. She is experienced in project design and management; coordinating partners and designing proposals for a complex multi-year infrastructure enhancement project in Uganda.
Mia is excited and motivated by the stakeholders and partners she has worked with in the agricultural sector. She enjoys ensuring success through systems thinking, and is passionate about facilitating collaborative connections between organizations and individuals.
Mia holds a BA in International Affairs from the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
Sandeep Gupte (Advisory Board Member) Sandeep holds Double Master’s degree (M. Tech Microwave Electronics & M.sc Physics) with 26 years of experience in power and telecom active network & passive infrastructure & energy storage. Certified by GERMI & Skill Council of India as a Solar PV Roof Top Trainer and Certified by SMA Academy for SMA Inverters. Sandeep has worked on microgrid energy storage applications for rural Indonesian villages and in the last ten years was focused on telecom passive infrastructure- tower companies & energy storage companies consulting on energy management for telecom cell sites & renewable energy solutions for telecom. Implementing energy storage solutions for ON Grid & Poor Grid sites in rural India, Indonesia, and also conducted trials in Pakistan & Bangladesh as part of telecom tower automation project. Sandeep has a passion for people and technology and a desire to make advances in training and technology in the developing world.
Valeria Nafuna (Partner Consultant) Valeria is a professional engineer; Valeria holds a Bachelor degree in Telecommunications Engineering of Kyambogo University and a Post-graduate (pursuing) degree in Project Management from Uganda Management Institute of Uganda. At COH, as our programs manager Valeria is the heartbeat of all operations. She is the all departments liaison and in charge of budgets, planning and managing timelines. Valeria is committed to driving COH to match engineering need to requirements for our valued clients and become the industry leader for service delivery. She has steered us to a rising turnover and continuous growths in number of clients and projects. Valeria’s management skills are immeasurably relevant in ensuring client satisfaction.
Marc Gaulier (Technical Consultant)
Marc is a Mechanical Engineer currently working in microgrid product development. Marc has been involved in the microgrid project and product space since a fellowship in 2012-2014 in Myanmar where he developed village-scale microgrids for rural communities there, and has a strong interest in the nexus between renewable energy and economic development. Since returning to the US, Marc has been involved in developing a wide range of battery-based microgrid systems for a wide variety of applications. Marc has devoted his volunteer efforts to raise awareness about climate issues and renewable energy with organizations such as Solar Party Detroit and Grid Alternatives. Marc holds a B.Eng in Mechanical Engineering from McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
Abdrahamane Traore (Technical Lead Consultant) Abdrahamane is an experienced engineer, coach and entrepreneurial operations executive with several years of experience in power electronics product and renewable energy systems design. He holds a B.S. degree (with honors) in Electrical Engineering and a M.S. degree in Engineering with a focus on Sustainable Energy & Hybrid Technology, both from Kettering University. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Systems Engineering at Oakland University. He received Solar Professionals education from Solar Energy International, with a focus on International and Developing World Applications. He is certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). He worked at Emerson Climate Technologies, Global Energy Innovations, Robert Bosch Battery Systems and Fluidic Energy. He worked on projects in USA, Germany, Singapore, Indonesia and Africa; and supported teams in China, Japan, France and India. He recently helped launch an off-grid, rural electrification solar hybrid site in Madagascar. He is fluent in both English and French.
Rachel Kansindi (Partner Consultant) Rachel is an accomplished accountant; Rachel holds a Bachelor degree in Commerce in Accounting and diploma in Business Administration and Accounting both from Ndejje University, Kampala. She is on the board of COH and works in several capacities, including budget and business development. Rachel believes in our continued endeavor to deliver high-class engineering services across the board. She engages in project planning, Operations budgeting for our various projects and clients. Rachel has successfully concluded two notable projects these being a Full power integration of solar hybrid solution at two telecommunication sites and Full power upgrade of a 20-acre University premises.
Dean Pattrick (Advisory Board Member) Dean Pattrick is an international business professional, who partners with large multinational companies through to small scale start ups. With over 25 years of expertise in both the teleco and music sectors, Dean can drive sales, create your experimental marketing campaign or develop relationships with branded partners that compliment your brand. Dean's has partnered with the following companies: Nokia, Samsung, Adidas, Harman Kardon, Plex and Darkglass Electronics to name a few. Dean has an MBA from the Helsinki School of Economics (now the Aalto University, Helsinki), as well as being a certified Project Manager (PMP from the Project Management Institute). Dean also a guest speaker at TheShortcut.org and Haaha Helia University (Helsinki).
Charles Ssuuna (Senior Partner Consultant) Charles is a practicing humanitarian and a professional engineer engaged in both for-profit and not-for-profit projects; Charles holds a Bachelor degree in Telecommunications Engineering from Kyambogo University and holds profound responsibilities in church ministry projects. Charles is the Managing director of COH bearing and directing the vision. Vision: Practicing Engineering for Quantifiable Development. Charles challenges himself and team to take lead roles in establishing COH into its set stance and setting it apart as the leading EPC in Uganda. Charles’ roles are to form the company business plans, strategy and budget; he drives the company’s vision and markets it. Charles prides himself in the 7 years’ experience of intensive activity in engineering field where he completed Power, Solar and Radio network projects. He has worked with small communities, energy companies, tower companies, mobile network operators and property developers in Uganda, East Africa and India.
Adel Al Khafaji (International Project Manager) who held a senior leadership positions with large multinational companies include Nokia, Ericsson Corporate, Clean Power System, Inteltec Emirates Holding Group, Orascom Telecom Group, and Iraqi Telecommunication and post company. With over 15 years of expertise in both the ICT and Renewable Energy Systems. He is certified Project Management Professional (PMP)®, Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)®, and Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)® from (Project Management Institute), as well as a Professional Scrum Master PSM®, and a Professional Scrum Product Owner PSPO® from (scrum.org). He holds a B.Sc. degree in Electronic and Communication from University of Baghdad, and a diploma in Electronic and Communication from Industrial high school in Iraq.