Our Team

Joel Armin-Hoiland
Founder and CEO

Joel is a seasoned non-dilutive funding professional. He has worked on both sides of the grantmaking process, including winning tens of millions of dollars from a wide range of non-dilutive funding sources in both the industrialized and developing worlds and awarding and overseeing the implementation of over a million dollars in grants on the Coastal Fund’s Board of Directors. His other work ranges from engineering and high-tech manufacturing of bioenergy systems, to global clean energy project development, state-level climate policy, working with a state environmental regulatory agency, climate-related sustainable development, and academic climate research. He currently serves as a mentor and advisor at Third Derivative,  Techstars, and Valley Ventures Accelerator, and is also a co-founder and advisor at The Climate Map. He holds a Master of Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School (summa cum laude), with a self-directed dual concentration in climate change and renewable energy, and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara (magna cum laude).

Anna Kulow
Funding Director

Anna Kulow brings over six years of experience in grant writing to Climate Finance Solutions, with expertise in renewable energy technologies and energy and climate policy. She worked with clean energy start-ups, non-profits and universities to secure over $7M in funding from the California Energy Commission, Shell/NREL GameChanger, Qualcomm, and the Maryland Water Resources Research Center. Her experience in the philanthropic arena includes working at the Skoll Global Threats Fund. Anna holds a BA in Environmental Policy and Science from McDaniel College in Maryland and a Certificate in Sustainability from the University of California at Berkeley. She also completed graduate-level studies in Environmental Science and Technology at the University of Maryland, College Park where she worked on waste-to-energy technologies. She is dedicated to advancing a just transition to clean energy and is specifically interested in promoting projects that benefit both people and the planet.

Courtney Hill
Grant Writer

Courtney is a nature-loving go-getter from South Africa with a passion for finding ways to live a sustainable lifestyle in the city. Before moving to Vancouver, Canada, she worked with the World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa (WWF-SA) as part of the Public Sector Partners team, nurturing partnerships and sourcing over US $10 million in small grant funding for conservation projects. Courtney also spent three years designing projects and writing grants for an international consultancy based in Cape Town, specifically interlinking climate change, community, global biodiversity, ecosystem restoration, and scientific research; securing over US $382 million through multilateral agencies such as the Green Climate Fund, Global Environment Fund, Adaptation Fund and The World Bank, for projects in developing countries on several continents. Courtney recently returned from living in the Canadian Arctic volunteering with and training huskies where she gained a huge amount of respect for environments that thrive in sub –40°C temperatures. Courtney holds a Master in Marine and Environmental Law from the University of Cape Town, and a Bachelor of Science in Conservation Ecology from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa.

Danielle Frempong
Associate Fundraiser

Danielle Frempong's keen interest in environmental sustainability and her experience in nonprofit management and grant writing drew her to Climate Finance Solutions. She strongly believes that innovative solutions are the key vehicle for environmental change and wants to help provide organizations developing new technology and new approaches with adequate resources to scale up. During her time on the Fundraising Team at Center for Civilians in Conflict, a Washington, DC-based NGO, she supported individual fundraising efforts by researching donor prospects and creating and managing a database of hundreds of donors. She also worked with The Prosp(a)rity Project to fundraise grants worth $1M. Danielle's experience in a range of other nonprofits, including International Christian Concern (in Maryland) and Community Aid Network (in Accra, Ghana), informs her understanding of how to fund and scale projects and programs with concrete impact. Originally from Ghana, Danielle is also very interested in and committed to climate-resilient sustainable development in West Africa. She holds a degree in International Development Studies and a minor in International Relations from Calvin University.

Amber Bloomer
Contractor & Managing Director of GrantAccess

Amber Bloomer is an international development professional and the Managing Director of GrantAccess. She has years of experience in project/program design, program implementation, development, and management of donor relationships and fundraising strategies for non-profit organizations, SMEs, and social enterprises operating in resource-constrained environments. Amber has raised over $10.8M in non-dilutive funding for projects focused on energy, ICT, refugee livelihoods, women’s empowerment, and public health. She has also contributed to policy initiatives on clean energy in the developing and humanitarian context in several countries, including India, Kazakhstan, and Uganda, driving forward sustainable development solutions for people living in poverty. GrantAccess and Climate Finance Solutions partner on a large number of funding opportunities in the developing world and have integrated their teams and databases.

Julie Saracino
Grant Writer

Julie Saracino is a global health professional with several years' experience developing project proposals and implementing programs for a variety of entities around the globe. She studied global health and environment at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and holds a Master of Science degree in International Health Systems with a certificate in Health Financing and Management from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Julie's health policy and research background led her to most work in South Africa and Cameroon to start up and build capacity for NIH- and CDC-funded HIV treatment and adherence programs. She is passionate about elevating community voices to spark structural change for pressing social, health, and environmental issues.

Nicole Kelner

Nicole currently works as Operations Lead at Dashboard.Earth. Previously Nicole was the co-founder and COO at The Coding Space, an after school program to teach kids how to code and the Director of The GirlCode Program. She helped lead the company to acquisition in 2019. She first developed a passion for empowering young women to be leaders in the world of STEAM after her first company SmartPurse was acquired by BetaBrand.
She was the winner of the Alibaba Women Empowerment Award, a finalist for Shark Tank, and a writer for The Huffington Post and Women 2.0. Nicole has worked at Popexpert, an education startup in San Francisco. In her free time, she leads Lemonaid.io, a community for women focused on mental health & human rights. Nicole holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Penn State University (magna cum laude).

Dusty Swartz
Business Development Lead

Dusty is a mover, shaker, and deal-maker. Living and traveling abroad at a young age gave Dusty an appreciation for nature, different cultures and types of people, and the connection between them. This led to studying how they were connected while earning a BS in Public and Environmental Affairs from the University of Indiana, Indianapolis, after which he embarked on a corporate career at large global enterprises. However, his parents were small business owners and they inspired him to deviate from the norm and take an entrepreneurial path. Dusty launched Pura Vida Ventures and dedicated the bulk of his career to introducing novel products and services that support environmental sustainability to markets around the world. As an entrepreneur and business development leader, he's created the strategies, tactics, and teams to scale across five global regions. Dusty has led business development and operations for a portfolio of ventures in biodiesel distribution, biomass gasification, energy efficiency, hospitality/recreation, and consumer products sectors. He has a knack for devising creative strategies and tactics that have generated tens of millions of dollars in revenue and hundreds of alliances and partnerships.

Our Commitment to Inclusivity

CFS values diversity in (and does not discriminate on the basis of) race, color, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religion, national or ethnic origin, indigenous heritage, disability, or veteran status. CFS promotes equity with its climate projects and within its own team. Women, people of color, and indigenous people are especially encouraged to apply for positions with the company. CFS is a member company of Empowering Diversity in Clean Tech (EDICT).


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