Chief Executive Officer, Rey Leon
REY LEÓN Was born in Fresno and raised in the Huron area. Mr. León is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley where he obtained a BA in Chicano Studies with an emphasis in public health. He is the founder and Executive Director of The LEAP Institute (Latino Equity Advocacy & Policy, a Latino Valley based non-profit organization. Mr. León is based in Fresno County for the Valley and focuses on economic, environmental, transportation and climate justice, clean energy, green jobs and community development. Mr. León has been working to ensure that environmental justice principles are advanced in the region’s institutions and culture.
Rey is founder of the San Joaquin Valley Regional Green Jobs Coalition which counts on 300+ members and co-founder of the Central Valley Air Quality Coalition. As Co-chair of CVAQ, Leon helped advance some of the greatest victories for air quality in the Valley including the ending of agriculture industry’s exemption from the clean air act and the placement of two public members, a doctor and a scientist, onto the region’s air pollution control district. Mr. León sits on various boards and committees including the Center on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies (CEERT), Fresno County’s Economic Opportunities Commission and past member of the California Air Resources Board Environmental Justice AB 32 Advisory Committee.
Mr. León has been organizing in the Valley for the past twenty-six years and for the past seventeen years has been advocating and successfully building coalitions, community capacity, advancing public policy; placement of the first PM 2.5 air quality monitor on the West Side of the Valley, systems change; developing the first ever environmental justice strategy and committees for both the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District and the Fresno County Council of Governments. In 2014, LEAP completed an Environmental Justice Planning Project and Report for the farmworker community of Huron where over 30 projects to improve mobility, access and safety were identified. Through LEAP, Rey continues to organize with the grassroots, grasstops, agencies and other partners to promote sustainable development, clean energy alternatives, electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, EV ridesharing, green jobs, reduction of pollution & GHGs in concentrated clusters of poverty in the central San Joaquin Valley. Mr. Leon successfully works with Valley communities to achieve environmental and climate justice. León is also the mayor of his hometown where he will be serving his third term in 2021.
As Mayor, Mr. León sits on the Fresno County Council of Governments, San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority and other bodies to advance the quality of life for the region’s hard-working families. Mayor León has also accomplished the building of the much needed $31 million bridge for the community’s economic advancement sorely needed for the past 100 years. As well as changed out street lighting to LED saving the city thousands of dollars, initiated the communities first ever youth soccer league engaging over 100 families, institutionalized grey-water systems for new single-family and multi-family developments, policy to ensure hire-local-first and has been diligent in providing thousands of farmworkers in Huron and the surrounding communities with disposable and cotton masks and sanitizer. Under the mayor’s leadership, Huron mandated masks in March, before California and was the first city in the county to place mobile hand washing stations throughout.
Chief Development Officer, Russell Teall
RUSSELL TEALL is Chief Development Officer for The LEAP Institute (LEAP). He is responsible for grant proposals and administration. Mr. Teall has extensive experience in the alternative energy industry, research and development.
Background in the Bio-Energy Industry: Mr. Teall has over thirty years of experience in all aspects of the biofuel and bioenergy industry. He is the former Vice-Chairman of the National Biodiesel Board, the trade association for the biodiesel industry in the U.S., and former Chairman of NBB’s Legislative/Regulatory Committee, and is currently President of the California Advanced Biofuels Alliance.