Mark Shults and Nancy Vedder-Shults

Mark and Nancy are co-founders of Array It Forward, a program to help non-profits install solar power, reduce their energy usage, and improve the efficiency of their heating and ventilation systems. Members of the First Unitarian Sustainability Team, Mark and Nancy have helped several 501c3s follow First Unitarian’s example of reducing their carbon footprint by going solar and becoming more energy-efficient. As an MIT-trained engineer, Mark brings technical expertise to the projects they assist. And Nancy brings communication and organizational skills, enthusiasm, and a longtime love for planet Earth. Together they help non-profits access the resources needed to become better stewards of creation. 

Mark Shults retired from a medical R&D career at Harvard and UW Madison medical schools during which he was the founder of two diabetes product companies. He is a member of an angel investing group, Wisconsin Investment Partners, which fosters primarily local and state startup companies. He is well-versed in many technical areas, including energy systems. He likes to say, “Civilization as we know it and our attendant high living standards are the results of harnessing cheap and widely available carbon-based energy stored in the earth from ancient times. Think of it as an energy battery which took millions of years to charge and now we are discharging it unsustainably back into the atmosphere in a few hundred years.”  We can all be part of the challenge to slow and eventually reverse this discharge. Mark assisted with HVAC modifications at First Unitarian Society, Madison (FUS), a project that saved 25% on the electric bill. He also took primary responsibility for implementing a 83kW solar array at FUS in 2019, further reducing the FUS carbon footprint by 25%.

Nancy Vedder-Shults, Ph.D. has had a wide-ranging work life. Returning from her final research trip to Germany in 1981, Nancy realized that the Union of Concerned Scientists was correct in stating that the world was close to nuclear armageddon. So she became co-director of the Wisconsin Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign. She taught on and off from 1975 to 1991 in the Women’s Studies Program. From 1991 until recently, Nancy has offered spiritual growth workshops and keynotes for Unitarian Universalist women across North America, as well as performing weddings and memorial services as a lay minister at First Unitarian Society in Madison. Her most challenging and rewarding work was being a parent to her daughter Linnea.