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CWEEL Webinar Series – Working in a COVID-19 World | Webinar Four

A Four Part Career Advancement Webinar Series, Presented by CWEEL, a Division of AEE

Webinar Four: Working in a COVID-19 World

Tuesday, June 30th | 2:00 – 2:45 PM (EDT)

Register for Webinar Four

President & CEO, Utility Advantage


Laurie Wiegand-Jackson currently serves as President  & CEO of Utility Advantage, a New Jersey- based national provider of energy consulting services company.  She founded Utility Advantage to provide independent consulting and energy services to the government, institutional and private business sectors in 2003.  She is a successful entrepreneur and businesswoman with over thirty years of experience in the energy industry. 

Ms. Wiegand-Jackson is very active in promoting the professional advancement of women in her industry.  She initiated the development of the Council for Women in Energy and Environmental Leadership (CWEEL) within the International Association of Energy Engineers.  CWEEL ( was formed to promote the professional development and advancement of women in the energy industry, to provide a network for women, and to encourage mentorship with professional women and students.  She currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors of CWEEL.

Ms. Wiegand-Jackson is a certified Energy Procurement Professional and she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from West Virginia University. She was inducted into the prestigious AEE Energy Managers Hall of Fame in September 2016.   

In addition to her passion for her work in the energy transition, she enjoys time with her family, her church community and gardening.

Director of Sales, North America, Mid Atlantic, PA & Southeast, Direct Energy Business


Deborah Lenny began her career as an engineer in 1990 with Public Service Electric & Gas and was part of the evolving deregulated energy industry. Since that time, she held many positions in both the regulated & deregulated energy industries.

In her current role with Direct Energy she is responsible for direct and indirect sales in North America. Her team is primarily responsible for optimizing the delivery of electric & natural gas commodity, managed and non-commodity products to Direct Energy’s largest North American customers and brokers. Deb focuses the unique needs of customers/ brokers and positions the company for longer term, sustainable growth through complex energy transactions.

She has an Engineering Degree from Rutgers University and a Master of Business Administration from LaSalle University.

Deb is passionate about the development of women in engineering and energy through her work in local area STEM programs and serves on the national board of the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), Council on Women in Energy & Environmental Leadership (CWEEL) as the Chapter Liaison Committee Chair.

She resides in Moorestown, N.J. with her husband, Lance and their children Luke and Emma.

Director, Renewables Business Development, Con Edison Clean Energy Businesses


Cara Olmsted is the Director of Behind-the-Meter Renewables at Con Edison Clean Energy Businesses. She is responsible for the customer acquisition and operations of community solar projects, and for the development of the long-term strategic plan for Behind-the-Meter line of business. Cara has been with the Con Edison companies for 35 years, and has been involved in the business development, marketing, and strategic planning for new and existing lines of business including electricity commodity supply, energy services, demand response, utilities privatization, battery storage, and microgrids. While at the utility, Cara was responsible for working with large commercial clients to convert to natural gas.

Cara is on the Board of CWEEL and is responsible for fundraising and corporate sponsorships. She has three daughters ages, 14, 17 and 18, and resides in Greenwich, CT.


Vice President, Strategic Development, The Utilities Group


Maryanne is a seasoned energy professional.  She has formerly been an executive with Duke Energy, serving as CFO of one of the major generating stations and more recently, was a manager of Strategy & Implementation focusing on institutional markets.  She had stimulated policy and segmentation in energy efficiency, demand response, sustainability, and workforce development.  She is a decisive and innovated leader.  She has recently been named Vice President of Strategic Development at The Utilities Group.  Maryanne also serves on the Board of Directors of the Ohio Association of Energy Engineers; the Steering Committee for Electricity Use in Water Supply for EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute) ; also serves on the Water & Wastewater Committee at the CEE(Consortium of Energy Efficiency);  she is an office on the national Board of Directors for CWEEL (Council of Women in Engineering and Environmental Leadership);  serves on the Advisory Board for WEEC (World Energy Engineering Congress) and is on the Advisory Board for the WERF (Water Environmental Research  Foundation).  Maryanne was also a founding member of the Board of Directors for the Raise the Floor Foundation, promoting women in advanced manufacturing careers.  She has been an advocate for STEM education.  She serves on the Advisory Board for the Kenton County Academies of Innovation & Technology and Sullivan University.  She is on the Board of Directors for Gateway Community and Technical College Foundation. 

Maryanne is a member of the MacDowell Society and serves on the national Board of Directors of Phi Beta. She is an alumni of Leadership Kentucky, has served on the Corporate Campaign for Arts Wave and was named  2017 Outstanding Woman of the Year by the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce .

She has BS and BA from the University of Cincinnati and an MBA from Xavier University. She holds certifications as a Public Accountant and Energy Manager.