This series will examineemerging initiatives and trends in technology, policy, etc. including the Biden Administration, e.g. American Jobs Plan, American Rescue Plan, and other efforts to help guide people in their prospective career moves and opportunities in the future.
CWEEL announces the 2020 Champion Award Winners. This award recognizes AEE Chapters and CWEEL Liaisons for their advocacy and contributions towards CWEEL’s growth.
Four awards were given:
Maryanne McGowan, Ohio (Left)
Romina Cid Moris, Chile (Left Middle)
Suhair Al Mhairat, Jordan (Right Middle)
Farhana Akhter Chowdhury, Bangladesh (Right)
Maryanne McGowan has served on the AEE – Southwest Ohio Board of Directors for more than eight years. She was the first woman to be elected to the Board of Directors, serves as our CWEEL Chapter Liaison, and has been a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion in our organization. She continuously promotes the support of CWEEL in both women centers, network activities, and scholarship. Aside from her public promotion of women in the energy arena, Maryanne also feeds the funnel in advancing students and young women into STEM careers. She is presently mentoring some female chemical engineering students at the University of Cincinnati and is talking with them about starting an AEE and CWEEL student chapter. Additionally, Maryanne is a new mentor to the STEM Power program that is mentoring young disadvantaged high school students in AP classes in the Cincinnati Public School system to promote STEM career paths. These young women will benefit from Maryanne’s experience as she pays forward. Maryanne has gone beyond the support of women within AEE. She was a founder of a foundation called “Raise the Floor”. This organization has a mission of promotion of women in advanced manufacturing careers. It is a success in promoting female talent and career development in multiple manufacturers in the Northern Kentucky area.This foundation is now incorporated in the Gateway Community and Technical College Foundation, to ensure sustainability of the mission. Maryanne also serves on this Board of Directors. She is passionate about Workforce Development and speaks nationally on this topic.
Romina Cid Moris is the CWEEL chapter liaison, founder, and current President of the AEE Chile Chapter and is a member of the new officers selected this October 2020. Romina aided in leading the first free course of hydrogen by women. More than 200 people participated, from which there were national and international students. Romina is a certified engineer as European Energy Manager, with a diploma in public policies in sustainability and energy, and currently pursuing MBA in senior management. Romina has reliable networks of public and corporate relations, values honesty and fair treatment.
Eng. Suhair Al Mhairat, MSc, JPE, CEM®, REP™, CSDP®, is the CWEEL Liaison Officer of the Jordan AEE Chapter. Suhair has been a Board Member since the inception of the chapter and worked tirelessly for eight years. Suhair has a fantastic skill to balance her work, private life, and the passion for leading the energy sector awareness locally and regionally. She has done an amazing job consistently for the past ten years and was a true leader in the darkest hours, providing a real example of a women leader educating her fellow citizens in energy and environmental topics.
Engr. Ms. Farhana Akhter Chowdhury, a Graduate engineer in EEE, is now the Founder & Managing Director, Solar Tie Ltd., Bangladesh. She also works as Country Manager, Tenka Solar GmbH, Bangladesh & India. She has a professional experience of 10 years in Renewable Energy and Environment sector. Ms. Farhana is a Certified Energy Auditor and a Life Member of AEE. She received the award “Young Energy Professional of the Year-2014, Asian Sub-continent” at the 37th WEEC 2014. She also joined 40th WEEC 2017 and received “Legend in Energy- 2017” from AEE. Ms. Farhana became Bangladesh Liaison, CWEEL in September 2014 and is continuing her duties to date.
On Jan. 21st, 2021, the New York – CWEEL Group hosted the first meeting with prospective members virtually. The purposes were to introduce CWEEL and the NY Group to the local industrial community and explore potential interest in membership. We were honored to have Laurie Wiegand-Jackson, the CWEEL National Board Chair, and Maryanne McGowan, CWEEL National Board Member, to join the meeting as speakers. Laurie introduced the origin and missions of CWEEL. She mentioned that the organization started over a decade ago to get women together and support each other. The purpose is to address gender equity issue in energy and environmental industries. The mission is to provide a network for women and support them to advance their education and career through scholarships, mentoring program and technical training.
The next speaker, Maryanne gave an inspiring testimony on her belief that “Life is an Adventure”. She is the winner of 2020 CWEEL Champion Award. Maryanne started with exciting news that today’s educational tv programs like Sesame Street started to feature women in technical and engineering fields. Then she shared a story of Alexander Fleming, a Scottish Biologist, who accidentally discovered penicillin that saved millions of lives during the World War II. She quoted that “One sometimes finds what one is not looking for.” It refers to Alexander’s discovery on penicillin that made tremendous impact on human history and brought him a Nobel Prize. She used this quote to encourage attendees to take adventures in their life: they may discover talents that they did not know they had. And hopefully the adventure they take with CWEEL and the NY Group leads them to a bright future.
Following the speakers’ session, attendees were invited to network and discuss their expectations on the NY Group in 2 breakout-room sessions. In the end, the meeting’s moderator, Davetta Thacher, closed the meeting with her moving words and appreciation to all attendees for their participation and their sharing. This meeting had 125 registrations and 60 attendees.
According to the breakout-room discussions, mentoring program and networking opportunities were the most popular topics. The Group also gained 5 attendees’ interest in being part of the leadership and creating the Group’s programs.
Here we want to shout out to the CWEEL National Board and NY-AEE Chapter Board for their huge support on providing resources to the Group and facilitating group discussion in the meeting. We especially thank Laurie Wiegand-Jackson, Maryanne McGowan, Alison Shea, Deborah Lenny, Fredric Goldner, Altramese Roberts-Tompkins and Michelle Whitlock.
The Group was initiated by CWEEL NY Chapter Liaison, Cissy Bai, and the President of NY-AEE Chapter & CWEEL Lead for NY Group, Davetta Thacher.
Crissy Godfrey, Chair of the International CWEEL Development
Crissy Godfrey joined the Government & Public Services Energy practice with Deloitte in April 2019 as a Specialist Leader.
Ms. Godfrey previously led strategic guidance and technical support for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ (NARUC) international programs in 35+ countries as their Principal Technical Advisor, through cooperative agreements with USAID’s Europe & Eurasia Bureau and Power Africa as well as the Department of State’s Power Sector Bureau. Prior to this, Crissy directed the Division of Energy Analysis & Planning at the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) from 2008 – 2015, overseeing the utilities’ EmPower Maryland Initiative, smart grid deployment, Renewable Portfolio Standard as well as other wholesale and retail regulatory and market issues. She also served as PSC staff representative for stakeholder and regulatory development with key partners such as the Mid-Atlantic Demand Response Initiative (MADRI), Eastern Interconnection Planning Collaborative (EIPC), Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships’ (NEEP) Evaluation Measurement & Verification (EM&V) Forum.
She specializes in energy efficiency, demand response, renewable energy, distributed generation and mini-grids. She has held many hats during her 18-year career in the energy sector, including the Maryland Energy Administration, Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative as well as previous consulting experience.
Crissy earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs from the University of Maryland, College Park and a Master’s of Science in Environmental Sciences and Policy from the Johns Hopkins University. She is also accredited by the Association of Energy Engineers as a Certified Energy Manager (CEM).
Ellen Bomasang, Chair of International Program & Events Committee
Ellen Bomasang is a clean energy expert with over 25 years’ experience working on increasing access, improving capacity, increasing affordability, and accelerating market development in emerging economies. She has provided technical inputs to various bilateral and multilateral agencies that have resulted in widely disseminated lessons learned and best practices documents. She has served as an off-grid renewable energy expert on various projects in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East, with a specific focus on increasing private sector investment in the sector. In addition to renewable energy, she has also worked in the conventional energy sector – in particular, petroleum and oil and gas projects. In the area of gender equality and social inclusion (GESI), she has been working, for the last 12 years, to promote a favorable institutional and policy environment to mainstream GESI in the energy sector, increase the representation and participation of women and other marginalized groups, and enhance their leadership and technical skills. She has developed and implemented strategic plans for integrating GESI issues in programs and contributed to GESI thought leadership and various gender communities of practice. She has lived and worked in developing countries and has effectively communicated and collaborated with a wide range of partners and stakeholders. Ellen has a master’s degree in Public Policy from Saitama University (Japan) and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of the Philippines. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with her husband, John, their youngest son Andrew (13), and their 2 dogs, Daisy and Diego.
Amy has more than 20 years of experience designing, delivering and advocating for solutions to today’s (and tomorrow’s) energy efficiency, utility management and GHG emissions reduction challenges. She is currently the owner and principal of an independent consulting practice, Roesler Consulting Inc, and served on the 2020 Board of our local chapter of AEE (Alberta Chapter of the Association of Energy Engineers).
Amy was Executive Director of the Alberta Energy Efficiency Alliance (AEEA) through 2020, was a Board member and Vice-Chair from 2017 to 2019, and has been a member since 2015. She was Director of Western Canada with CLEAResult, a turnkey efficiency and emissions reduction program implementer delivering Alberta’s first commercial, industrial and methane emissions reduction programs from 2016 to 2019. Prior to this, she led and delivered large technology and business transformation projects in the areas of demand side management, smart metering, customer care and operations with utilities, agencies, and private corporations. She holds a B.Sc. Honours degree in Physical Geography from the University of Alberta and an MBA specializing in Sustainable Development from the University of Calgary.
Formed in 2007, the Alberta Energy Efficiency Alliance (AEEA) is a diverse organization of more than 35 Alberta companies actively working to advance and maximize EE in our province. Our members include Alberta engineering firms, program implementers and equipment installers, utilities, municipalities, educational institutions, training organizations and other Alberta industry associations that drive employment in, and advancement of, the energy efficiency industry in Alberta. We have a track record of credible public policy advocacy that has meaningfully advanced the energy efficiency sector in Alberta, while informing and advocating with governments, convening stakeholders and providing opportunities for industry collaboration and networking.
Highlights of Recent Energy Efficiency Developments in Alberta:
The provincial government shuttered the province’s first and only attempt at broad energy efficiency programming, Energy Efficiency Alberta, in September 2020 after only two full years of operation, primarily due to its funding structure via the previous NDP government’s carbon levy.
An independent assessment funded by Efficiency Canada indicates that up to 5,300 jobs and $2.3B in GDP growth annually could be delivered by 2030 through a sustained energy efficiency industry.
An October announcement launched up to $55M in funding to Emissions Reduction Alberta to launch the Energy Savings for Business Program, however large swaths of the province’s residents and non-profits are still not engaged in energy efficiency.
Federally, that gap may be partially closed with contemplated economic stimulus funding focused on energy efficiency slated to roll out after the COVI-19 vaccine rollout, including up to $5,000 in energy efficiency rebates available.
Alberta’s main deficiency in sustaining the economic, social and environmental benefits of energy efficiency is the lack of a market-driven, sustained funding model. Whether that comes via energy efficiency integration into the utility system or via a continued and longer-term broadening of the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction fund, in the meantime Alberta is getting left in the dust compared to other provinces in terms of mitigating utility infrastructure and usage costs for Albertans.
Leah Milcarek – Senior Program Manager, Federal Group, Con Edison Solutions
Leah Milcarek is a Senior Program Manager in the Federal Group at Con Edison Solutions in Valhalla, NY. Leah is responsible for developing energy efficiency and renewable generation projects for the Federal government and has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Grinnell College. Leah currently lives in Cold Spring, NY with her husband Rick. In her free time, she designs costumes for local theatrical productions, paints, and likes to get outdoors and hike in the beautiful Hudson Valley.
Kathy Kiernan – Principal – Open to the Possible Coaching & Consulting
Kathy Kiernan is Principal of Open to the Possible Coaching & Consulting. After a successful corporate career with three Fortune 500 companies and building and managing a start-up energy consulting firm, Kathy began teaching others how to be more successful. Her coaching clients include executives, entrepreneurs, and non-profit leaders who desire to improve their productivity, effectiveness, success, and ultimately, their happiness. The Daily Record named Kathy one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women in 2019. Kathy received an MBA from Drexel University and completed her undergraduate business studies at LaSalle University in Philadelphia. She lives on the beautiful Eastern Shore with her husband and two hound dogs.
Becca McGinn – Proposal Developer, Con Edison Clean Energy Businesses
Becca McGinn is a Proposal Developer responsible for supporting the sales teams across the Clean Energy Businesses based in Valhalla, NY. Becca holds a B.S. in Business Marketing from the University of Alabama where she was a 4-year NCAA student-athlete. Becca currently lives in Westchester, NY and enjoys spending her free time outside, either running or out on the water coaching youth rowing.
Gina Callender – Director, Strategic Planning, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc.
Gina Callender is a Director of Strategic Planning for Con Edison in New York, NY. Gina is responsible for Long Range Planning for the Gas business, Steam business and our subsidiary Orange and Rockland Utilities. Her department also supports projects and study looking at the long-term implications of Electrification of Heating and Transportation in the NYS and NYC regions. Gina holds a B. S. in Civil Engineering from Manhattan College and an MBA in Management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She lives in Mount Vernon, NY with her wife and fur baby, Madison. In her free time, she volunteers on two other non-profit boards, teaches yoga and meditation, and loves to travel, cook, and bake.
Hadas Webb – Managing Director of Analytics, Cimetrics
Hadas Webb is the Managing Director of Analytics for Cimetrics, a Boston-based energy efficiency and IIoT consulting firm. Her primary responsibilities include planning & integration of new offerings and enhancements, overseeing the client experience, leading a team of senior analysts, and coordinating marketing efforts. She holds a B.S. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an M.S. from Carnegie Mellon University, both in Mechanical Engineering, and graduated from Bronx Science. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts and spends her Sunday mornings making pancake art.
We are very excited to welcome CWEEL’s 1st Corporate Member – DNV-GL.
CWEEL is excited to announce their very first Corporate Member, DNV GL! DNV GL provides services for several industries including maritime, renewable energy, oil & gas, electrification, food & beverage and healthcare. They are the largest technical consultancy and supervisory to the global renewable energy (particularly wind, wave, tidal and solar) and oil and gas industry.
“The energy transition will be seriously hindered without an equitable and diverse workforce. DNV GL chose to support CWEEL in recognition of its work to ensure that women in energy and environmental fields have the opportunities and resources they need to succeed,” said Richard S. Barnes, Region President, Energy Systems.
CWEEL Corporate Members are leaders in their commitment to women in energy. CWEEL Corporate Members enjoy all the sponsorship, training, mentoring, and networking benefits available through CWEEL – as well as discounted memberships, discounted admissions to events, and promotion at conferences and through our website, newsletter, and social media.
Jan 21, 5:00 PM – 6:00 PMZoom details will be emailed
About The Event
The Council on Women in Energy & Environmental Leadership (CWEEL) provides a network for women in the energy and environmental industries that can assist in supporting career development for professional women, mentor young and aspiring women to pursue technical education and careers in the energy and environmental fields, and establish CWEEL as a forum for women to promote policy in the energy industry. CWEEL is a division of the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE).
The newly-established CWEEL NYC Chapter invites you to join our 1st virtual gathering to celebrate the New Year and help plan events for 2021. Join us on January 21 to hear about the value of CWEEL membership. Two speakers from the CWEEL National Board will join us, helping guide us in establishing and growing our group. This will be followed by a networking opportunity with local professionals!
CWEEL Mentor/Mentee Date Paired: May 2019 Present status: Continuing relationship for 1 and half year
Kjrsten and Cissy both have engineering background. Kjrsten is a licensed environmental professional engineer and a certified energy manager (CEM). Cissy works as an energy consultant, specializing in analytics related to clients’ energy portfolio. They started with emails and phone calls, as they live in different states. This year they switched to Skype as virtual meetings have become a new normal. They discussed career advancement ideas and business networking strategies. They also like to catch up about family and work life. Recently they coauthored an article for the International Journal of Strategic Energy and Environmental Planning (IJSEEP)!
From Cissy: It’s been a wonderful journey to be part of the CWEEL Mentoring program. The program was able to find a mentor who is committed to help and empower me to develop my own strengths. When I talked to Kjrsten for the first time, I felt connected with her right way since both of us have engineering background. My purpose was to seek advice on where I can find resources for professional study in energy engineering. Kjrsten has tremendous experience in facility management and she understood my need immediately. She recommended me to take an AEE online training program about energy auditing. It’s very interesting and practical. I always find it’s easy to communicate with Kjrsten about my struggles or concerns at work. I think it’s because we both work in consulting environment. When we were writing an article together for the International Journal of Strategic Energy and Environmental Planning, Kjrsten encouraged me to discuss a granular energy data methodology I developed. She valued my opinions on how to structure the article. She also provided constructive feedback to enhance the discussion. I’m grateful to have her as my mentor.
From Kjrsten: Cissy and I were matched in the CWEEL mentoring program in May of 2019. Because of the distance, our meetings were phone calls and then virtual meetings. (We hope to meet in-person when conferences and travel are restarted post-pandemic.) While I have a “few” added years of experience, Cissy came to the mentoring program with excellent education and professional experience. For each of the two years that we worked together, Cissy had professional development goals that she wanted to achieve: continuing education, networking and publishing an article in a recognized journal. My role was providing Cissy with recommendations and resources to support her goals. We were excited when our energy management article was accepted into the IJSEEP journal! I have greatly enjoyed both our meetings and our continued friendship.
The Board of Directors of the Council on Women in Energy & Environmental Leadership (CWEEL) is seeking to fill the board position of International CWEEL Groups Committee Chair. This is an extraordinary opportunity for individuals who are passionate about gender equity in the energy sector globally; are called to support the success of CWEEL; and have a track record of volunteerism and leadership. CWEEL’s mission is to provide a network for women in the energy and environmental industries that can assist in supporting career development for professional women, mentoring for young and aspiring women to pursue technical education and careers in the energy and environmental fields, and scholarships on a global level. CWEEL is a division of the nonprofit Association of Energy Engineers.
CWEEL is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. The board serves to establish and fulfill the mission and objectives of CWEEL. The board sets policies; provides oversight and management of the organization; and participates in the execution of the strategic plan.
The CWEEL Board of Directors is seeking to fill the board position of International CWEEL Groups Committee Chair effective January 2021. The CWEEL Board of Directors each serve a three-year term. Board meetings are held monthly. Each director chairs a CWEEL committee, and the committee meetings are held as determined by each Committee Chair but no less than quarterly. Service on CWEEL’s board of directors is voluntary and without remuneration or reimbursement for administrative support, travel, and accommodation costs in relation to board members’ duties.
Board Member Qualifications Ideal candidates will have the following qualifications:
Professional experience in business, government, philanthropy, science/manufacturing, or the nonprofit sector related to energy and environmental sectors and/or women’s advancement
Professional experience applying for and securing grants or other funding support from international development aid agencies (i.e., USAID, EuropeAid, FCDO; multilateral organizations (i.e., UN agencies, EBRD, AfDB); and/or non-governmental organizations (i.e., CARE, Oxfam, Plan)
A commitment to and understanding of CWEEL’s mission preferably based on experience
A natural affinity for cultivating relationships, attracting new members and facilitating consensus-building among diverse individuals
Fluent in English with excellent written and oral communication skills and a natural affinity for public speaking
Personal qualities of integrity, credibility, and a passion for supporting women in the energy and environmental fields
Board Member Responsibilities
Regularly attend board meetings and important related meetings with voting on board matters
Makes a commitment to participate actively in committee work – including developing and managing committees
Volunteer for and willingly accept assignments and complete them thoroughly and on time
Stay informed about committee matters, prepare for meetings, and review and comment on minutes and reports
Get to know other committee members and build a collegial working relationship that contributes to consensus
Is an active participant in the committee’s annual evaluation and planning efforts
A description of the open position is provided below. If you have any questions you may contact Laurie Wiegand-Jackson, CWEEL Board Chair, via email at email@example.com.
International CWEEL Groups Committee Chair Board PositionDescription: The International CWEEL Committee Chair is responsible for advancing CWEEL groups outside of the United States. Responsibilities include (1) working with AEE members/chapters around the world to appoint CWEEL Leads/Liaisons and establish CWEEL groups, (2) drive active engagement and sharing of ideas across groups, including regular (at least quarterly) committee meetings, (3) work with international CWEEL groups to establish and monitor country-specific goals/activities, and (4) finalize and communicate approved processes/documentation around group establishment, mentorship program, and other CWEEL activity areas. The International CWEEL Committee Chair will also work collaboratively with our International Membership Committee Chair and International Programs & Events Chair to provide consistency and share information around membership and programs & events with all international CWEEL liaisons/groups.
Application Process If you are interested in applying for this position, please provide the following information:
The board position for which you are applying along with a statement of experience and skills to meet the qualifications and responsibilities for this position (see above descriptions)
A statement of your goals and purpose for applying to the CWEEL board
A copy of your CV/bio
A statement that you will commit to:
Becoming/remaining an active member of the Association of Energy Engineers and CWEEL during your term;
Attending at least one CWEEL Board Meeting each year in person (there are three in-person board meetings held in conjunction with AEE’s three US conferences). (Subject to travel restrictions due to COVID 19 we do not expect in-person meetings until later in 2021). If you have any concerns with meeting this requirement, please explain in your application
Two written references (preferably one from an active AEE member)
Applications are due to Laurie Wiegand-Jackson, CWEEL Board Chair, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than November 13, 2020. The CWEEL Board expects to make its selection in December with the new board position effective January 1, 2021.
The Council on Women in Energy & Environmental Leadership (CWEEL) provides a network for women in the energy and environmental industries that can assist in supporting career development for professional women, mentor young and aspiring women to pursue technical education and careers in the energy and environmental fields, and establish CWEEL as a forum for women to promote policy in the energy industry. CWEEL is a division of the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE). You can go to www.aeecenter.org to learn more about AEE.