Meet Our Team

JANE OLLIS

Chair

Jane brings 25 years of diverse business experience from interning at NASA to sitting on and advising boards of global companies, charities and government bodies. She is an environmental scientist and biochemist by training interested in how science and technology can shape tomorrow’s world. She is also an alumni of Sydney’s prestigious social leadership programme and a business fellow of Oxford University and today focuses on building and serving business that have a clear purpose and social impact.

COLIN NOLDEN

Director

Colin has a background spanning energy policy, climate policy and sustainable development. He currently works as a Vice Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Bristol Law School. Previous work includes research for Climate-KIC’s Transition Cities Project; for the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), University of Sussex; for the Centre for Rural Policy Research, University of Exeter; and for Geography, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter; plus consultancy for a German energy agency and the UK government; as well as stints as a steelworker and a mussel farmer. His academic background spans geography, history, economics, policy and sustainable development.

Colin likes good food, football, loud music and everything to do with the environment.

RICHARD WATSON OBE

Director

Richard Watson is a Founder/Director of Energise Sussex Coast, a community energy co-op set up to address fuel poverty in East Sussex through community owned energy schemes and community led energy advice programmes. He was awarded the OBE in 2016 for services to the community of Sussex.

Richard is a keen wild swimmer and often refers to his early years growing up in Malaysia.

ZOE NICHOLSON

Director

Zoe Nicholson is a  Councillor and Leader of Lewes District Council. She is experienced in partnership working to achieve the best for our communities. She has experience of delivering on carbon net zero ambitions and the development of a plural wellbeing economy.  She has a special interest in using the council’s procurement role, it’s assets to create the conditions for a greener, fairer and more sustainable economy across the region. She has a background in healthcare and social enterprise start up.

She lives in Lewes District with her partner, and teenage son, dog and horse.

Jamie Gordon

JAMIE GORDON

Director

Jamie has over 25 years of diverse experience across the communications sector from running an ad agency in Poland in the late ‘90s to developing a campaign to support one of the UK’s largest offshore wind farms. He currently works across the energy sector advising private and public interests on how they should liaise with local communities regarding Net Zero initiatives and projects.

In his spare time Jamie loves long walks with his family, writing comedy sketches and is a member of a community choir.

OLLIE PENDERED

Chief Executive

Ollie is Chief Executive of Community Energy South and leads on our Partnerships and capacity building support Community Energy Groups. He is the regional representative for Community Energy England and Chair of the Greater Brighton City Region Energy Working Group.

Ollie is a hockey player, coaches his local village junior cricket team and is a keen gardener and nature expert.

ESMÉ DONGHI

Executive Director – COO

Esmé has 20 years’ experience in energy and environment project management, primarily in  team and businesses leadership roles. She worked in a variety of sectors including Higher Education, Local Authorities, SME’s, Facilities Management, Construction and Waste Management Companies and the Community Energy Sector. Esmé brings a wide range of skills to her role as COO at CES, including managing complex project portfolios, business management and development, leading marketing and communications operations, delivering training programmes and supporting staff professional growth and development.

In her spare time Esmé is kept busy with her active toddler and also enjoys long walks countryside, dancing and pub lunches.

JESSIE-MAE COLEMAN

Operations Manager and Membership Coordinator

Jessie looks after the membership process for Community Energy South, the finance and administration, and supports the directors. She writes the monthly newsletter and helps to oversee and manage the marketing and project teams. She is also now a Trustee of the new CIO, CES Warming Communities.

Jessie has a background in retail management, but retrained as an accounting technician and book keeper to find a better work/life balance. The demands of two young children takes up most of her time but she enjoys Yoga, reading sci-fi, cooking new things, and a regular Zumba class!

LAURA WILSON

Senior Project Manager

Laura is a specialist in the community energy sector and skilled in project management and delivery in community energy projects. Her experience includes commercial development and relationship management within the community energy sector. She is an experienced fundraiser and has extensive experience of stakeholder engagement including community partners and wider community engagement, central and local government, other public bodies and the wider public.

Laura is a volunteer director for Wey Valley Solar. In her spare time she enjoys being outside, taking long walks and swimming in cold water.

NICOLA DAVIDSON

Project Manager

Nicola has worked in the public and community development sector for twenty years. As project manager at CES, her specialisms include community energy project development, fundraising and mentoring new groups to pioneer their own projects. She has a Diploma with the Chartered Institute of Fundraising and a degree in Rural Resource Management. Nicola has worked as a Peer Mentor for the Power To Change programme supporting community business development.

During the early part of her career she worked in a number of technical roles within the Environment Agency and the London Borough of Ealing. Nicola is co-director of MaidEnergy supporting the group with project development and community engagement

KELLY DIBBERT

Project Manager

Kelly has over 20 years experience as a project manager. More recently she has chosen roles that cut carbon emissions working for Brighton Energy Coop, The Big Lemon and FareShare Sussex.

With experience in fundraising, community engagement, development and a passion for bringing people together to do good things!

She loves year-round sea swimming, scuba diving, dancing, long country walks, her bikes and sharing good food.

KIRSTY SHANAHAN

CommuniPower Project Co-ordinator

Kirsty Shanahan has joined the CES team as Project Co-ordinator on the LEAD-funded CommuniPower project.

She founded Buckinghamshire Community Energy, co-ordinates the Community Energy England Energy Efficiency Working Group, and has worked part-time for retrofit supply chain galvanisers Low Carbon Homes, so domestic decarbonisation is a subject close to her heart.

ROLAND BALDOCK

Technical Manager

Roland joins CES after working freelance in the sector as a project developer and project manager. Prior to working in renewable energy, Roland worked on complex marine infrastructure projects in Europe, Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East. 

Roland brings experience from his many roles including Engineering, Procurement, Construction Management, Operations Management, Cost Estimation, Risk Management and Project Management. 

Roland enjoys travelling, bouldering at his local climbing centre, sea swimming, and reading. 

TIM SHERMAN

Project Assistant

Tim is joining the CES team as a Project Assistant, responsible for supporting both the coordination, technical and data management aspects of the CommuniPower Unit and the development of community energy generation projects.

Tim finished uni in 2022 and took a year out where he worked a ski season as an instructor and was an outdoors instructor at Branching Out Adventures (a local high and low ropes course).

In the local community, he plays hockey for Lewes and enjoys football, tennis and pool as well. 

LIZ SLEEPER

Business Development and Events Manager

Liz is a long term associate of CES. Liz also works for Ovesco and runs a systemic consultancy – Sussex Constellations, and is a director of The Really Regenerative CIC.

Liz also enjoys long bike rides in the country and dancing in the kitchen.

CALLY SOUTHERN

Communications and Consultation

Cally has over 25 years of experience across multiple business sectors including energy, transport, tourism, arts, charities, retail and fmcg. She has been trusted by Board and Programme Directors to develop and deliver an effective communications plan. Cally has also been on the management team, running the operational aspects of a business which included Health & Safety, Environment, Quality Assurance and Human Resources.

Cally’s role at Community Energy South is to help bring together community energy groups and industry with the focus on supporting the drive for a net zero carbon future.

Cally loves walking her dogs and dabbles in photography in her spare time.

SARAH MACBETH

Design Consultant

Sarah is a socially responsible designer, researcher and community activist. She has over 25 years of experience in the non profit sector working for organisations such as Amnesty, British Council, UNESCO and Shelter and for design and technology cooperatives and collectives.

Her place-based and participatory practice involves engaging people in co-creating regenerative futures. In 2015, Sarah co-founded Transition Town Hastings as a platform for the local community to collaborate around low carbon living.

Sarah is a keen forager and spends a lot of time at her allotment or cooking what she harvests.

EMER GILES

Comms and Project Assistant

Emer has recently graduated with a bachelor of science degree in Geography from the University of Sussex. Her passion for the climate led her to write her dissertation on the effects of eco-anxiety on gender, age and education. Her experience in geography has brought to the team a new perspective of younger generations dealing with and tackling climate change.

Following her 6-week internship at Ovesco as a Comms Coordinator she landed a permanent part-time role as well as joining our team as a Communications and Project Assistant. 

Emer also enjoys making lemon drizzle cakes, doing yoga and spending time with her dog PJ.

SUSIE TAGUE

Comms and Project Assistant

Susie’s experience of travelling round South East Asia for three months in 2023, witnessing first hand, how other communities around the world approach daily life and tackled different challenges sparked her passion for innovation and tackling the climate crisis.

Susie brings extensive experience in customer facing roles, an ability to adapt quickly to changing situations and a keen interest in sustainability and problem solving to her role as a Communications and Project Assistant.

In her spare time she loves walking her dog, live music, design, and fashion.