Lee Taylor during his F99 Semester with Chris and Pam Maxey’s children.

We are thrilled to announce Lee Taylor F99 as the 2024 Founders Alumni Award recipient for The Island School. Lee joined us as a Semester student during The Island School’s second Semester in the fall of 1999. He has since started his own business, REsurety, a mission-driven organization dedicated to accelerating the world’s transition to a zero-carbon future. REsurety provides software and services to support both the financial and sustainability goals of clean energy buyers, sellers, and investors. As The Island School celebrates 25 years of education, research, and innovation in 2024, we are delighted to recognize Lee, one of our earliest alumni, for his impact and leadership following his Semester journey.

A Unique Island School Experience

Lee took a leap of faith to attend The Island School in the Fall of 1999 when his freshman year wrestling coach at Lawrenceville, a young Chris Maxey, convinced him to spend a semester in The Bahamas. Just a week into the Semester, Hurricane Floyd was headed directly toward Eleuthera, necessitating an evacuation to Florida for about a week. Everyone remained safe, and campus was still standing when the Semester returned, but there was no running water for 2 or 3 weeks. Lee reflects, “Returning to this place where you’re carrying buckets of water for your toilets, it was a pretty formative moment for that group—rallying together, I think, created a relationship amongst students and the students and staff. We were all doing something new and it was hard and exciting, but it all still worked… Hurricane Floyd and the entire semester provided the opportunity to experience some discomfort and failure that made the journey and the wins a lot more valuable.”

A Renewed Perspective

Their semester resumed as normal as possible and, by the end, Lee left changed. He felt both a responsibility and the ability to do something about the problems of the world. He took this feeling with him through both undergraduate and graduate school, leading him to pursue a career in clean energy. While he could have gone the traditional route and worked for another company, he saw a shifting market for renewables and recognized an opportunity to build his own business. From his Island School days, he knew that taking risks would inevitably bring growth, even if he failed, so he took the risk and REsurety was formed.

Leadership Effecting Change: Building solutions for a sustainable future 

As with any experiment or research, Lee started out with a thesis when launching REsurety. “Renewable energy benefits from a significant economic advantage in that the fuel is free – but that advantage comes at the cost of intermittency risk: your fuel is a function of the weather and climate and so can be volatile and unpredictable. Managing that volatility and unpredictability requires information and tools that didn’t exist – and were needed for the industry to scale,” he reflected. Today, REsurety is leading the charge of the world’s transition to a zero-carbon future. Their software offers data-driven insights at various stages of the project lifecycle from initial exploration to portfolio management. This allows them to leverage their domain expertise and deliver solutions tailored to the unique needs of their customers. Additionally, REsurety is at an exciting stage in its growth. In 2021, they raised $16 million in capital from Hannon Armstrong and they were named one of Boston’s “Best Places to Work” in 2022 and 2024.


A Testament to the Value of Sustainability

As Lee continues to grow his business, he has held true to his Island School ethos and continues to be a leader effecting change. “Part of the reason I stay a supporter of The Island School,” Lee remarked, “is that I think we need more people who feel like the world’s problems are their problems and they have the ability to do something about it.” While The Island School campus looks much different than it did in the Fall of 1999 the core of our programs remains the same: developing leaders who inspire and drive positive change.

As Lee continues to inspire all those around him, please join us in congratulating Lee as our 2024 Founders Alumni Award recipient.