CHICAGO – January 11, 2022 – Evergreen Climate Innovations (formerly Clean Energy Trust), a climate technology investor and catalyst, is pleased to announce the appointment of Jeffrey Yingling and Thomas S. O’Neill to its board of directors.
Yingling and O’Neill’s combined experience in the energy industry will help to advance Evergreen’s mission of bringing impactful climate technologies to market. Both demonstrate a passion for climate innovation and the advancement of economic opportunity in the Greater Midwest region of the United States.
“We are pleased to welcome Tom and Jeff to our board of directors and are grateful that they’ve chosen to join us at this critical time for our organization and the climate’s future,” said Erik Birkerts, Chief Executive Officer of Evergreen Climate Innovations. “Bringing a wealth of talent and experience, we look forward to their contributions as we work to further expand the climate tech innovation ecosystem in the Greater Midwest.”
Jeffrey Yingling is a Founding Partner and Chairman of the Investment Committee of Energy Capital Ventures. Yingling has over three decades of investment banking experience in energy utility and adjacent industries. He was previously a Senior Advisor to Guggenheim Securities where he helped lead the firm’s initiatives in the energy sector. He also served as Managing Director and Head of Midwest Investment Banking for J.P. Morgan. Yingling currently serves as an advisory board member and team mentor in connection with a cleantech entrepreneurship class within the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern University (NUvention Energy). Yingling earned his M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Chicago and his B.B.A. in Finance from the University of Notre Dame.
Thomas S. O’Neill is a partner in Jenner & Block’s Energy Practice and Litigation Department. He has served as a lawyer in private practice and in various leadership roles, including Corporate General Counsel, at Exelon, one of America’s leading energy providers. He guides clients through disruptions in the energy industry that lead to regulatory changes, jurisdictional disputes, litigation, and corporate restructurings. Throughout his career, O’Neill has been a dedicated pro bono advocate. He also has established himself as a committed leader in diversity, equity, and inclusion, in part through his service to the Leadership Council for Legal Diversity (LCLD). O’Neill received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and his law degree from the University of Notre Dame Law School.
With the addition of Yingling and O’Neill, the Evergreen Climate Innovations board expands to ten members. Current governing board members include: Buoyant Ventures Managing Director Amy Francetic (Chair), Exposition Ventures Managing Director Karen Kerr (Treasurer), Builders Private Capital and S2G Ventures Chief Investment Officer Sanjeev Krishnan, Harwich Partners Founder and Principal Dr. Cheryl Martin, XL Fleet Vice President and General Manager Colleen Calhoun, Invenergy Vice President of Strategy Maggie Pakula, Investor and filmmaker Andrew Schwertfeger, Agentis Energy CEO and Chairman Tim Stojka, Jenner & Block Partner Thomas S. O’Neill, and Energy Capital Ventures Founding Partner Jeffrey Yingling. Since October 2020, Evergreen founders Invenergy President and CEO Michael Polsky and Tao Capital Partners Co-founder Nick Pritzker have served as chairs emeriti.
About Evergreen Climate Innovations
Evergreen Climate Innovations, formerly Clean Energy Trust, provides catalytic capital and support to entrepreneurs and startups that bring impactful climate technologies to market. The nonprofit pioneered its 501vc® Investment Fund to align philanthropic and corporate contributions to deliver environmental, economic, and social impact. Evergreen advances and expands access to innovation across the Greater Midwest and cultivates an ecosystem of investors, donors, and collaborators. For over a decade, Evergreen Climate Innovations has invested in startups that have raised $41 for every $1 invested. Learn more at evergreeninno.org
Amy Yanow Fairbanks, Senior Communications & Marketing Manager
Evergreen Climate Innovations, formerly Clean Energy Trust