Effective yesterday, Rising Sun champion Tyi Johnson concluded her term of service as Board Chair. 

In 2012, Tyi joined the Rising Sun family as a member of Green Energy Training Services, the precursor to Opportunity Build. She was selected as class speaker; to this day, she feels pride in her cohort’s support. “That is where my love affair with Rising Sun began,” she laughs. Johnson went on to join Rising Sun Energy Services—our sunsetted energy efficiency social enterprise—followed by increasingly impactful roles in the energy efficiency world. In 2016 she joined our Board with unanimous approval, becoming our first alumni board member. Johnson understood firsthand that entry-level energy efficiency jobs weren’t always good jobs, and was excited “to play a part in Rising Sun rising to the occasion.”

Almost immediately, Tyi stepped up to become Board Secretary, later progressing to Vice Chair and eventually to Chair. She played a pivotal role in 2019-2020’s CEO selection process, advocating for and supporting Rising Sun throughout the transition because the organization must continue “until the work is no longer needed.” Tyi has led through example, her hands-on investment clear in her attendance at every graduation, barbeque, and grand opening—daughter in tow. 

“Rising Sun has given me an opportunity to be a proud stakeholder of the planet; as the organization has grown, I have grown. Never in a million years did I think I would serve on the board of a nonprofit, let alone be the chair,” she shares. “Seeing the way the adult program has developed, I am proud to have contributed and I wish I had found out about it now; the staff and Board have done their due diligence to make it more than just training.” In her eyes, “there is no program like ours. Nobody is doing it like we are.” 

Rising Sun thanks Tyi for the time, guidance, expertise, and love she has dedicated to our organization and mission. Her leadership sustained us through 2020 and has positioned Rising Sun to become the best of our possible iterations moving forward. Tyi will continue to champion our work as a member of our Advisory Council.

Rising Sun is excited to welcome current board members Phil Miller and Mel Parker, MD, as our incoming Board Chair and Vice Chair.