New Sensation with Zach Henkin, Sunlight Solar Energy, Operations Manager

Posted on April 10, 2013

Since ELGL is not a big fan of icebreakers and since we would rather not know what animal you want to be, this blog feature will serve as a means of introducing new members. While you won’t learn about their favorite animal, you will learn about their ideal Sunday morning, which dead people would they FaceTime with, and which song best describes their life.

Name: Zach Henkin

Email: [email protected]

Title: Operations & Marketing Manager

Organization: Sunlight Solar Energy, Inc

Graduate: Marylhurst University MBA, Sustainable Business, Renewable Energy

Undergraduate: Marylhurst University, BA, Creative Writing, Professional Writing

Twitter Handle: @Zax9000

LinkedIn: Profile

Background Check on Zach

Zach became the first elected chair of Marylhurst University’s Student Leadership Council when it was founded in fall 2011 to give students stronger representation with university leadership; it’s a position he will have held for two years by the time he graduates in 2013. He also has been active in the Marylhurst University Sustainability Advisory Council, which is the primary driver of green initiatives on campus.

In his “spare time,” he is a volunteer with the energy stewards program in the Clackamas County Office of Sustainability, and is a member of the Oregon City Planning Commission.

“My service on the planning commission helped shape how I approached laying out the structure of the student leadership council,” Zach said. “I really would like to see more students engaged. You’re going to be exhibiting that leadership somewhere, so you might as well be doing it here. Half of being a good manager is empowering people.”

Q&A with Zach

Most interesting projects you’ve worked on in your current position:

I am currently working on adding solar to the new Earth Advantage development Waverly Commons in the Richmond neighborhood of SE Portland. We are working with the builders and the future homeowners to provide solar electric and solar thermal options for these new efficient homes.

I am also continuing to work on a ‘Solar for Good’ brand extension for Sunlight Solar. Solar for Good allows us to partner with existing successful non-profits and promote their mission while offering solar education and product offerings which ideally will align with their purpose.

Lastly the Oregon City Planning Commission and I are continuing to develop our Transportation System Plan that should provide a framework for future development and transportation growth for years to come.

Your work/school mentors:

Bill Zuelke, Dean of Students at Marylhurst University

Judy Johansen, President at Marylhurst University


Describe the inside of your car.

I drive a Mini Cooper and have been told that the inside is futuristic and something akin to a spaceship. It’s kind of loud and will do its best to remind  you of what its like to ride in a go-kart.

Most recent concert:

Smash Bandits! The best ska punk band in Portland.


If you could only visit five websites for the next year, which ones would you choose?


Complete the sentence: “Before I die I want to…

 Make a lasting sustainable impact.

Proudest career/school accomplishment:

Leaving Marylhurst with my MBA after leading and helping form the first Student Government they’ve had in 103 years.

What song best describes your life?

Perfect Day, Lou Reed. What can I say I’m an optimist.


Best tip for improving a resume.

Have a theme and say more with less.

If you could FaceTime or Skype with three people either dead or alive, who would they be?

Thomas Jefferson

Enzo Ferrari

Andrew Carnegie

Suggest two or three topics for the ELGL annual conference.

Career advice for recent grads

Ideas for groups and networking

What certifications are worth consideration and pursuit.

Favorite thing to do on a Sunday morning:

A bit of light sleeping in and then breakfast with my wife and two boys.

Government is…..


ELGL is….

A great resource for Emerging Local Government Leaders!

What question(s) should I have asked you?

If I had complete control to design a new city/downtown community, what would I choose to be central to this space?

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