About Us

Staff and Advisors

Gilda Gussin, M.Ed. is the Project Director and primary author of the Playbook.  Jill Appel, CPA, MPH contributed significantly to the content. Gilda and Jill were part of the three-person leadership team that developed and implemented the Cooler Concord Fair. The third member of the leadership team was Brad Hubbard Nelson, PhD. All three have extensive experience in reducing CO2 emissions in communities and have led community-based Solar, Heat Pump and Weatherization campaigns, both professionally and as volunteer members of the Concord Sustainable Energy Committee.

An active Playbook Advisory Committee brought strong expertise to the table and thoughtfully reviewed the playbook. Advisors included Aimee Powelka, an energy professional and climate activist from Framingham, Massachusetts, and Uli Nagel, the leader of the Cooler Communities pilot events in Agawam and the Berkshires. Uli also directs the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation’s energy efficiency program, ener-G-save.

Want Some Help?

If you would like some help getting started or have questions, send an email to the team that has created this Playbook. We are happy to talk with you about your project and we offer consulting services to help you make best use of the Playbook.

Please Share Your Ideas

Our plan is to update this site periodically with best practices and advice from communities who use this Playbook to host fairs. Please share your thoughts with us – what works well and doesn’t, what is especially helpful, what is missing and what new ideas you have! Our planet needs us to share our ideas!

Collaborators and Sponsors

The Town of Concord, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation, ener-G-save and MassEnergize have all contributed financially to underwriting the fairs and/or developing the Playbook, Cooler Communities Website and Carbon Saver tool.

Cooler Communities

Cooler Communities is the brand name for events (we call them Fairs; you can call yours whatever you want!) that use the model in this Playbook (e.g., Cooler Agawam, Cooler Concord). The word “Cooler” connotes reduced burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, natural gas and gasoline that are warming the Earth. If we all work together, we can live on a Cooler Planet and Be Cooler!


MassEnergize is a non-profit group helping communities throughout Massachusetts reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. MassEnergize hosts a web-based platform with effective tools to help neighbors, local businesses and other organizations see good, impactful options, get recommendations for service providers, share experiences, and promote local events and track their impact.


Ener-G-save is a key program of the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation. Since 2017, ener-G-save has worked in Western Massachusetts with towns, grassroots organizations, non-profits, businesses, utilities, faith groups and schools to foster energy efficiency at the community level.