emPower Staff


Meet the emPower Team!


Ashley Watkins
Co-Division Chief

Tel: 805-568-3514
E-mail Ashley

Ashley Watkins joined the emPower program in February of 2012. She has over 15 years of experience with developing and managing local, state and federal energy efficiency and renewable energy programs.  She most recently worked for Ecology Action, a non-profit based out of Santa Cruz, as the Central Coast Regional Program Manager for the Energy Upgrade California Program.  Prior to that, Ashley served as the Manager of Education and Training Programs for the California Center for Sustainable Energy. She was responsible for identifying workforce needs, developing educational trainings and obtaining grant funding for workforce development programs.

Ashley earned a Bachelor’s of Arts degree from San Francisco State University and currently sits on the USGBC Board of Directors.  Her responsibilities include overseeing marketing activities, community outreach, workforce development and customer support.


Marisa Hanson
Program Specialist

Tel: 805-568-3530

E-mail Marisa

Marisa Hanson joined the emPower team in October of 2014 via New York City. Her past experience includes financial analyst roles in both the private and non-profit sectors, international development program administration, and energy efficiency consulting. She also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tanzania. Most recently, she worked on a team that designed a national building retrofit program for Montenegro. As an emPower Program Specialist, Marisa contributes to community outreach, customer support, workforce development and reporting efforts.

Marisa earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Penn State University, and a Master of Science in Sustainability Management from Columbia University.