More about Tena
For the last 9 years, Tena has been a leader for renewable energy developments for National Grid Renewables. For 7 years, Tena led solar developments of all scale across the country, where she directed the company into new markets and developed projects from beginning to end. This included site origination, landowner negotiations and relationships, local and state permitting efforts, budget management, engineering, and supporting procurement into construction. Annually, Tena has been responsible for developments up to $500M in capital expenditures.
Tena's vast experience working with local jurisdictions on complicated and nuanced projects, along with ordinance amendments and all related permits, has situated her well for a role on the Arden Hills City Council, where the City is still dealing with long-standing, complicated projects such as TCAAP.
The last 2 years has Tena focused on the operational side of the business. She focuses on late-stage project execution through internal investment approvals, as well as process improvement for the growing company.
While Tena enjoys what Arden Hills is today, she is focused on the following:
Bringing in more tax base, particularly through TCAAP/Rice Creek Commons, to facilitate an increase in public amenities, such as safe walking trails on busy roads. Tena is looking forward to welcoming new businesses to the city and providing local job opportunities for citizens of Arden Hills.
Finding ways to implement economically viable clean energy and sustainability solutions that progress the city forward.
Ensuring private property rights – from owning chickens, to allowing citizens more opportunities to improve their homes.
Providing housing for all families. As a mother of 2 young children and a child of immigrants, Tena feels very strongly about providing children with safe, stable and affordable housing.
After graduating from Willmar HS, Tena attended the College of Saint Benedict, where she received her BA in Economics and Spanish. Five years later Tena received her Master of Environmental Management (MEM) from Duke University. Tena’s MEM program was focused on Energy and the Environment, where she focused on all topics of energy, from building efficiency to international oil markets.
Tena and her husband Ben are originally from Willmar, MN. They married in 2015 on the North Shore and welcomed their first child, Levi, in 2018. Marina, their second child, joined the family in 2020. Tena’s sister and her family also live in Arden Hills where they spend time together enjoying Lake Johanna.
Tena and her family moved to Arden Hills for much of the same reasons that many families with young children do – the quiet environment, friendly neighbors and a great school district. Previously, they lived in NE Minneapolis. Levi and Marina keep Tena busy for much of her time outside of work, but in her free time, Tena enjoys being outside, swimming laps, going for walks, reading, and watching movies.