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Annie Levenson-Falk
Executive Director

651-300-4701, ext. 1

In 2016, Annie was named the first executive director of the Citizens Utility Board of Minnesota. She joined CUB after serving as the executive director of the Legislative Energy Commission, a nonpartisan office of the Minnesota House and Senate. In her role, Annie staffed the bipartisan commission of 20 legislators charged with evaluating the environmental and economic impacts of state energy policy. Previously, Annie was the Senior Policy Manager of the Citizens League.

Annie co-founded the Capitol Pathways Internship Program, which places students of color and Native American students in legislative internships, so that Minnesota government better represents the state’s diversity.

Annie received a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Haverford College in Pennsylvania. She lives in rural Cannon Falls with her husband and two children.

Carmen Carruthers
Outreach Director

651-300-4701, ext. 2

Carmen joined the Citizens Utility Board of Minnesota in November 2016 as the organization’s outreach director. Carmen comes to CUB with a great deal of outreach experience in both professional and volunteer roles. She has a passion for helping people and providing information so consumers can make good decisions. Carmen most recently worked for Thrivent Financial as a financial associate.

Carmen lived in Switzerland for five years and during that time was active in outreach related volunteer work and also worked as a substitute teacher at The American School of Switzerland (TASIS). The majority of her career has been spent in the urban planning field, including six years at the city of Naperville in Illinois. While at Naperville she managed land use and transportation projects that required significant outreach to residents, businesses, community leaders, elected officials, and other government agencies. Carmen is a member of the Metro Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTS) Steering Committee.

Carmen received a bachelor’s degree in Local and Urban Affairs from St. Cloud State University and a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Iowa. She lives in the western metro with her children.

Brian Edstrom
Senior Regulatory Advocate

651-300-4701, ext. 6

Brian joined the Citizens Utility Board in May 2020 as the organization’s senior regulatory advocate. Prior to joining CUB, Brian practiced law with a boutique business law firm, Avisen Legal, P.A. in Minneapolis, where he advised small business owners on a variety of general business and regulatory matters. Brian’s work experience prior to entering private practice includes enforcing Minnesota’s securities regulations as Director of Securities at the Minnesota Department of Commerce and investigating Wall Street banks as an attorney-analyst working with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Branch in Washington D.C.  

Brian’s combination of public sector and private sector experience allows him to bring to CUB the balanced perspective of someone who has both enforced consumer protection regulations and advised clients on how to comply with them.  

Brian earned a bachelor’s degree in English (and feels a special kinship with all other English majors out there) from Colorado College and a juris doctorate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He lives in South Minneapolis with his wife, two children, and unruly golden-doodle, Poppy.
Brandon Crawford
Regulatory Advocate

651-300-4701, ext. 7

Brandon joined the Citizens Utility Board of Minnesota in June 2021 as a summer legal intern and has since joined CUB full-time as a regulatory advocate. He graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School in May 2022 with a concentration in Environmental and Energy Law. While in law school, Brandon helped draft updated editions of energy and public resource legal textbooks.

Brandon holds bachelor’s degrees in English and Political Science from Creighton University, where he researched the adoption of renewable energy policies by state governments. He is committed to representing the interests of Minnesotans and seeks to advocate for equitable energy solutions on their behalf.
James Birr
Outreach & Communications Manager

651-300-4701, ext. 4

James joined the Citizens Utility Board of Minnesota in June 2023 as the organization’s outreach and communications manager. Prior to joining CUB, he worked with various non-profit organizations focused on economic, racial, and gender justice advocacy in the Twin Cities. He has experience with both non-profit marketing as well as state regulatory administration.

James’ variety of work experiences prepares him to be a strong advocate for consumers, and he is dedicated to advocating for Minnesotans both on the ground and at the Capitol.

James graduated from Saint Paul College with an Associates in Arts. He lives on the border of Minneapolis and Saint Paul with his two cats, Louie and Pearl.
Kristin Sako
Outreach Intern

651-300-4701, ext. 8

Kristin joined the Citizens Utility Board in June 2023 as an outreach intern. She is currently obtaining her Masters in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs with a focus on healthcare sustainability and energy efficiency. Additionally, she is working with the City of Minneapolis Department of Health’s Sustainability Division on their Energy Benchmarking Program.

In 2021, Kristin earned a bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from the University of Minnesota. Her work and academic experiences have allowed her to work alongside and communicate with a variety of individuals including youth, academic experts, ER patients, and individuals transitioning out of incarceration. Each experience taught her the importance of accessibility when communicating important, relevant information to an audience. She looks forward to expanding on this skill during her time at CUB!
Olivia Carroll
Regulatory Advocate

651-300-4701, ext. 5

Olivia joined the Citizens Utility Board in August 2023 as a Regulatory Advocate upon graduating from the University of Minnesota Law School with a concentration in Environmental and Energy Law. While in law school, Olivia worked with several non-profit organizations focusing on issues of clean energy infrastructure and environmental impacts of climate change.
Olivia worked as a paralegal for several years before attending law school. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from New York University. Olivia is excited to be a part of the CUB team, and for the opportunity to engage in energy policy advocacy for all Minnesotans.
Kayla Lamson
AmeriCorps Home Energy Corps Member

651-300-4701, ext. 9

Kayla joined the Citizens Utility Board of Minnesota October 2023 to serve as AmeriCorps’ Home Energy Corps Member. Kayla will be supporting CUB’s Outreach Team. One of their projects will be to help CUB develop new electrification resources. Kayla will be actively involved in community events that help consumers understand and navigate options to electrify more of their home energy use.   

Kayla received a bachelor’s of arts in Native American Studies with an emphasis in Water Sciences and Geology. While Kayla attended school, she worked alongside non-profit organizations such as All Hands and Hearts in the construction of homes devastated by hurricanes. Kayla has experienced up close the impact of climate disasters on coastal communities. She participated in conflict resolution training to better understand how communities endure and try to remedy the impacts of climate disasters.  

Kayla resides in the city of Bloomington. She has a passion for building community resilience as well as continuing legacy work of creating sustainable infrastructure.
Nick Heid
Outreach & Communications Intern

Nick joined Citizens Utility Board in May 2024 as an Outreach and Communications Intern. Prior to joining CUB, he was a teacher in the west metro and graduated from University of Minnesota with his Masters in Education in 2020. He has experience in youth leadership, K-12 education & curriculum, and is excited to use the overlapping skills to connect people with educational and practical energy related resources.

Nick’s skills as an educator and passion for connecting others will support the outreach and communications of CUB. His volunteer work organizing a community group in his neighborhood is focused on equipping residents with resources and pushing for more local climate initiatives around waste, energy, and emissions. 

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