Board of Directors

E. Leon Jacobs, Jr.

President – Tallahassee, FL

E. Leon Jacobs, Jr., is the owner of The Law Office of Ennis Leon Jacobs, Jr. and an advocate for public policy that drives economic and social transformations. He is currently the president of the SACE Board of Directors.

An experienced consultant and attorney in Tallahassee, Florida, Jacobs brings more than 20 years of legal experience and more than 30 years of experience in the public and private sectors. Jacobs has been deeply involved in the formation of public policy for most of his career, with a particular focus on the issues now driving the remarkable economic and social transformations underway in the global, information-based economy. He is a former member of the Florida Elections Commission and a former member and past Chairman of the Florida Public Service Commission (“FPSC”), having served a four-year appointed term that ended in 2002. During his tenure with the FPSC, Jacobs also served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), as well as Chair of NARUC’s Consumer Affairs Committee and as Chair of NARUC’s Y2K Ad-Hoc Task Force.

Additionally, he served as President of the Southeastern Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (an alliance of thirteen state regulatory agencies), and as Chair of the Energy Market Access Partnership Board (an alliance between NARUC and the U.S. Department of Energy fostering diversity in energy markets). Jacobs was appointed to serve on an advisory panel to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Small Water Systems Implementation Working Group (under the National Drinking Water Advisory Council), and was appointed to serve on a public/private effort under the Consumer’s Energy Council of America to develop public policy on Distributed Generation technologies. He also testified before the U.S. Congress. Jacobs received a degree from Florida A&M University and a law degree from Florida State University College of Law.


Patricia San Pedro

Vice President – Miami, FL

Patricia San Pedro is a four-time Emmy award-winning TV producer, published author, exhibited photographer, writer, PR/media expert, breast cancer survivor, and advocate who is passionate about environmental protection and making the world a better place. She is the owner of Miami-based San Pedro Productions, a full-service firm that specializes in local, national, and international Media & Public Relations, Bilingual Communication Strategies, and Media Training. San Pedro Productions promotes products/services that enhance people’s lives, create value, and make the world, and our communities a better place. Over the span of her career, she has always used her job to help her community.

Prior to founding her company, San Pedro was Vice President of Event Marketing and Community Relations at The Miami Herald & Nuevo Herald. While there, she created several social responsibility projects including Operation Helping Hands/Dando Una Mano, which is still active today, to help disaster victims throughout the hemisphere.


Enid Sisskin, PhD

Secretary – Gulf Breeze, FL

Dr. Enid Sisskin is an Adjunct Professor at the University of West Florida, teaching Environmental Health and Environmental Toxicology. She also works at the local public radio and community TV station producing an environmentally-themed TV show and radio spots. Sisskin worked at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences of the National Institutes of Health. She has conducted research at Everglades National Park’s South Florida Research Center and also worked in the park’s Resource Management division.

For more than 15 years, Sisskin has been an outspoken advocate against offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, and she has been interviewed and published widely on the environmental risks associated with offshore drilling, testifying before Congress on the issue in 2006. Sisskin also serves on the board of Gulf Coast Environmental Defense and the Florida Conservation Alliance, as well as on various state and local committees concerning a variety of environmental issues. She received a BA from Queens College of the City University of New York, an MS from Southern Illinois University, and a PhD in Pathobiology from Columbia University.

John Noel

John Noel

Past President – Nashville, TN

John Noel is a businessman, preservationist, and CEO of John Noel Investment Real Estate Co. He was President of the SACE Board of Directors from 2001 – 2020, the immediate past President of the TennGreen Land Conservancy (formerly named Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation), and an active advocate for the protection of Tennessee’s treasured places. He has been at the forefront of several precedence-setting campaigns involving water quality and land conservation. His efforts have been featured in National Geographic Magazine.

Noel serves on numerous boards including The Climate Institute in Washington, D.C., and Tennessee Conservation Voters. The National Society of DAR honored Noel with the 2007 ‘National’ Conservationist Award and Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen presented him with the 2008 Governor’s Lifetime Conservation Achievement Award, Tennessee’s highest environmental accolade.  Noel was also appointed to the Tennessee Energy Policy Task Force to help set energy policy for the state of Tennessee. Additionally, he teamed up with the Governor to permanently protect over 70,000 acres of eco-rich Cumberland Mountains lands. A known speaker on the topic of Climate Change, Noel champions energy conservation, renewable energy sources, open lands, and all things linked to a healthy life and healthy planet.


Gary A. Davis

Asheville, NC

Gary A. Davis is an environmental attorney and consultant with over 30 years of experience in environmental law, policy, and technology. He currently manages a public interest environmental law firm representing environmental organizations, community groups, and citizens throughout the Southeast in litigation involving environmental permits, violations of environmental regulations, environmental contamination, environmental impact statements, coal-fired power plant certificates of need, and land use.

Previously, Davis was the Director of Environmental Policy for the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, a 40-year old regional environmental organization based in Naples, Florida, where he directed the Conservancy’s advocacy efforts focused on estuaries and coastal watersheds protection, land use policy, wildlife habitat conservation, and Everglades restoration. His legal experience in the Southeast has spanned 25 years, beginning with his founding of an office of the Legal Environmental Assistance Foundation in Tennessee in 1983. His academic experience includes founding and directing an environmental research center at the University of Tennessee, called the Center for Clean Products and Clean Technologies, which he directed until 2002. Davis has also taught environmental law as an adjunct professor in the UT College of Law and taught environmental policy as a visiting professor at the International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics at Lund University in Sweden. Davis was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Tennessee Environmental Council, a statewide coalition, in 1991. He also has government experience and worked as an environmental policy analyst in the California Governor’s Office of Appropriate Technology in the early 1980s.

Prior to attending law school, Davis worked as an environmental engineer with an environmental consulting firm that focused on pollution prevention in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. He has been widely published and speaks nationally and internationally on environmental topics. Davis earned his law degree from the University of Tennessee and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from the University of Cincinnati.

Bob Freeman

Nashville, TN

Bob Freeman has 15 years of experience in construction, spanning project management to development. He currently serves as the Executive Vice President of Freeman Webb, Inc. and serves as a Tennessee State Representative for District 56.

Early in his career, Freeman saw a need in the market for more sustainable construction, he transitioned from residential to commercial construction specializing in green building. Freeman has a Bachelor of Science in Construction from MTSU and a Master of Science in Green Building from Lipscomb University.

Pearl Walker

Memphis, TN

Pearl Walker is an energy justice advocate, writer, and public speaker based in Memphis, Tennessee. A longtime champion for energy justice, Walker served as Chair of the Environmental Justice Committee of the Memphis Branch of the NAACP and was elected to the Memphis City Council to represent District 3 in Tennessee, beginning January 2024.

Walker’s longtime leadership on SACE’s “Memphis Has the Power” campaign has helped advance affordable and equitable access to clean energy for Memphians. Working alongside Memphis Community Against Pollution (MCAP) and other community leaders, Walker helped successfully fight the Byhalia crude oil pipeline. She has also been instrumental in demanding accountability from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) on their legacy coal ash pollution and lack of accountability to the people of the Tennessee Valley.

Walker is inspired by many who have worked on justice issues before her, including Cornelia Crenshaw, an energy equity and justice advocate and Memphian whose protest efforts in the 1960s and 1970s led local utility, Memphis Light Gas & Water, to allow its customers to make partial payments on their bills. Having witnessed Memphis communities, especially Black and Brown, struggle with energy unaffordability, high electric bills, coal ash pollution, and lack of access to safe and affordable clean energy options like solar, Walker has long been committed to mobilizing concerned citizens and elevating their awareness, understanding, and conversation around the dangers of climate change and the importance of clean energy choices.

Past Board Members

cpatten.jpgZ. Cartter Patten

September 25, 1940 – December 1, 2022

Z. Cartter Patten was an entrepreneur who had over 40 years of experience as a Registered Investment Advisor working in firms he founded in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He served as Treasurer on the SACE Board of Directors for over 12 years. Cartter had a lifelong interest in forestry, land stewardship, wildlife habitat conservation, clean energy, protection of rivers, and most of all, an environment that is healthy.


Ed Passerini, PhD

September 13, 1937 – July 4, 2020

Dr. Ed Passerini was Professor Emeritus of Humanities and the Environment at the University of Alabama’s New College and was Vice President of the SACE Board of Directors. Dr. Passerini is widely published in the fields of literature and environmental advocacy. He was also proficient in the development and application of solar technology. In 1989, Passerini won the American Tour de Sol, a four-day race for solar-powered cars. Passerini was the former Director of the Alabama Environmental Council. He earned a BA from Harvard University; MA in Literature and History from Northeastern University; and a Ph.D. in Literature and Art from the University of Virginia.

Past Senior Energy Advisor 

S. David Freeman

January 14, 1926 – May 12, 2020

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy was honored to have S. David Freeman serve as a Senior Energy Advisor prior to his passing in May 2020. David was a highly respected and world-renowned expert on clean energy, energy efficiency, and the risks of nuclear power. He had more than four decades of experience directing federal, regional, and local energy policies during his long career.

From 1948-61, Freeman worked at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) as an engineer while attending the University of Tennessee – Knoxville and also worked in the agency’s legal department until graduating and then taking a job at the utility. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter appointed Freeman to be chairman of the TVA, where he pioneered a massive energy conservation program, contributed to early work with solar energy and electric vehicles, and stopped the construction of eight large nuclear power plants at three different locations. Subsequently, he served for two decades as general manager of several large public power agencies including the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the New York Power Authority, and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District. 

After leaving his chair position at the TVA in 1984, Freeman maintained an interest in the activities of the nation’s largest public utility and had frequently commented on TVA’s policies and actions. He held a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Georgia Tech and an L.L.B. from the University of Tennessee. In 1974, he wrote Energy: The New Era, and Winning Our Energy Independence: An Energy Insider Shows How in 2007. More recently in 2017, Freeman co-authored All-Electric America: A Climate Solution and the Hopeful Future, and wrote, The Green Cowboy: An Energetic Life.