Meet the Team

Cris Schrader, Owner & Principal Engineer

CrisWhy did you start Seed? ~ I started Seed in 2009 at a time when I was looking for something more personally fulfilling and with a greater environmental impact. Solar, green building, and energy efficiency were areas where my background in Environmental Engineering was best suited to create that positive impact.

What is your favorite thing about the company? ~ The people, the ones I work with, the customers, clients, and other business owners we collaborate with on projects are what I most enjoy.

What is your favorite type of project to complete? ~ I enjoy projects that involve a mix of fieldwork and design work. I want to be out on the job sites working alongside the rest of the crew, interacting with the customer or client. I’ve always liked the phrase “design, build, sustain” since that’s our approach to addressing a problem through design, bringing that design to reality, and ensuring it’s a sustainable solution that provides the best possible outcome.

One thing you would want potential customers to know about Seed? ~ Seed is a local small business and unlike larger companies, we can provide a more personal approach with an emphasis on the customer experience.

Cotter Nash, Field Foreman & Lead Electrician

Cotter 1Life outside of Seed ~ My additional occupation is as a PFC for the NYS Army National Guard. In my free time, I enjoy hunting, fishing, and visiting with friends.

Why Seed? ~ Working with Seed has allowed me to utilize my degree in Electrical Construction and Maintenance from Hudson Valley Community College while engaging in a motivating team-building atmosphere.





Lisa Nichols, Administrative Assistant

LisaLife Outside of Seed ~ When I am not at Seed, I work full time at Maple Hill Jr/Sr High School. Outside of work, I love to spend time with my two adult children, Joshua and Breeanna, and my one dog - Ike. I especially like to take the time to enjoy a day of boating, fishing, and hikes with the dogs when possible!

Why Seed Solar and Engineering? ~ It is a small local company and the owner is awesome! I have worked with Cris since April 2015.




Marcos Velazquez, Lead Solar PV Installer

MarcosMarcos joined Seed in Summer 2020 after a year-long stint with Americorp’s VISTA program. During that time, he worked for a behind-the-scenes afterschool organization that supported in-person afterschool programs throughout New York State.

Life outside of Seed ~ I love to spend my free time hiking, camping, watching movies, and sports. I also enjoy playing basketball and traveling when I can.

Why Seed? ~ Joining Seed was an easy decision. After meeting with Cris and hearing about the great nonprofit work that Seed does, on top of focusing on clean energy, I felt like this was a company that I could dedicate my time to and get a chance to give back while doing it.

Britney Emmick, Engineer

BritneyWhy Seed? ~ I originally met Cris through RPI’s chapters of Engineers Without Borders during my junior year and was drawn to the work that Cris did, both through Seed and as an engineering professional. I interned at Seed that summer and have remained an employee since.

What has your experience with Seed been like? ~ I have gained experience and knowledge of a vast range of skills, even beyond engineering. I have also become close friends with most of the staff, since we work collaboratively often, and have a deep appreciation for the team and their dedication.

Life Outside of Seed ~ I am originally from Buffalo, NY, and have a big family that I visit whenever I have the chance to. I am especially grateful for my parents and grandparents who have always supported my career goals no matter where they take me. When I am not working, I spend most of my time with my dog or traveling anywhere I can.





James Gardner, Field Technician

James GardnerJoining us this fall as a field technician, James is currently working hard towards achieving his NABCEP certification and is excited to learn something new every day about the ever-changing world of Photovoltaics.

Why Seed ~ After a long career in corporate restaurants I decided to transition careers into renewables with a small local company and I quickly knew SEED was going to be a great place for me. I believe that renewables are undeniably the wave of the future and I am excited to be a part of a cleaner future.

Life Outside of Seed ~ When not at work, my wife and I own and operate Sweety Pea's Flower Farm in Ballston Lake. \We also enjoy spending time with our 3 children, whether it's inside playing Mario Kart battles or outside teaching them how to help on the farm, checking out all the local playgrounds, and going for family hikes. 



Jordan Dunn, Part-time Marketing and Business Development Assistant

jordanAs a recent graduate of Siena College, Jordan enjoys utilizing her digital marketing and communication skills to help promote local companies such as Seed.

Life outside of Seed ~ In my free time, I love to read, and when I can I love to spend time outside walking or hiking. I also try to travel someplace new anytime I can, I have been to 26 countries so far!

Why Seed? ~ In college, I found that I had a strong interest in sustainability. When I found the position with Seed, I thought it combined my academic and personal interests together perfectly.




Rielly Fischer, Lead Field Intern

RiellyLife outside of Seed ~ I am currently a Senior at UAlbany majoring in Environmental Science with plans to graduate in fall 2021. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, skiing, and playing club baseball.

Why Seed ~ I decided to intern with Seed because I find renewable energy to be very interesting, and something I look forward to learning more about. As an environmental science major, I am quite passionate about protecting the environment, and I believe joining the team at Seed helps with that!




Evan Buckley, Engineering Intern

EvanBuckleyEvan joins Seed as a Summer 2021 intern. With him, Evan brings an enthusiasm for the field and a passion for learning about the clean energy industry. 

Life outside of Seed ~ This year I will be a senior at WPI majoring in Electrical Engineering. Outside of the classroom, I am a member of the swim team at WPI and like to spend my time hanging out with my teammates and playing guitar.

Why Seed? ~ Environmental protection has always been an interest of mine and I aspire to enter the clean energy field upon graduation. Working with Seed this summer is a perfect way to combine this interest with hands-on experience.



Michaela Flynn, Intern

headshotMichaela will be joining seed as a Fall 2021 intern. She is looking forward to learning more about the green building process, and specifics about the industry that she would not be able to learn in a classroom setting!

Life outside of Seed ~ I am currently a student at UAlbany majoring in Environmental Science with a minor in Sustainability & Policy. I like to spend my free time going on picnics, thrifting, hiking, and discovering new restaurants!

Why Seed ~ I was drawn to Seed Solar because studying sustainability has taught me just how important renewable energy & green building are for our planet. I especially enjoy interning with smaller organizations, as there is more opportunity to learn different things, and Seed is no exception to that!