Leaders in Energy 2018 – Year in Review

Leaders in Energy 2018 – Year in Review


2018 was another busy and successful year for Leaders in Energy (LE).  Janine Finnell, Executive Director, and the Leaders in Energy team and community are working hard towards the goal of advancing clean energy and sustainability solutions, with a focus on key areas of sustainable communities; the green economy and green jobs; and multigenerational leadership.   Our active and engaged global community encompasses nearly 5000 individuals with 1600+ people in our community in the Metro Washington DC region and 3100+ in our LinkedIn group (Leaders in Energy Research, Communications, Policy & Analysis – LERCPA) along with our following on social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

With over thirty educational, leadership, and networking events and workshops, Leaders in Energy had a packed calendar featuring new launches such as our Green Leadership Retreat and Green Career Momentum series, in addition to the annual favorites such as the Clean Energy and Sustainability Extravaganza and Green Jobs Forum. Leaders in Energy also convened three strategic planning meetings over the year (March 3rd, September 15th, and December 29th) to help guide its programs.  

As Leaders in Energy’s Director of Communications, I am honored to share some of our key accomplishments and activities this year. Articles and presentations related to many of these events can also be viewed at our Event Archives here.

Figure 1: Janine Finnell, Executive Director, making welcoming comments at Circular Economy event at the Canadian Embassy in October 2018

Sustainable communities 

We’re dedicated to developing sustainable and environmentally responsible communities around the world, by connecting those that seek to deploy sustainable solutions with businesses and companies who can provide those solutions. In October, Leaders in Energy’s Executive Director Janine Finnell was honored at the 2018 Maryland Clean Energy Summit with a Special Recognition Award from the Maryland Clean Energy Centerfor her dedication to leadership, partnership, advocacy, and entrepreneurism to promote clean energy, energy efficiency, and job creation. 

In February, Leaders in Energy’s 4th Annual Clean Energy and Sustainability Extravaganza held at the University of Maryland brought together diverse university departments and businesses leading the way to clean energy and green products and services. The three-part event included luncheon panel for the Council on Women in Energy and Environmental Leadership (CWEEL), an all-day exposition with cleantech exhibits, as well as a University of Maryland Showcase and a Business Showcase. In April, Leaders in Energy was an exhibitor at the Northern Virginia Community College Green Festival, the theme of which was “Towards Environmental Resilience in a Changing World”. 

Figure 2:Front Row (l-r(: John Caldwell, EEI; Cyril Draffin, MIT; and Elizabeth Stein, EDF; second row, Vestal Tutterow, Resilient Virginia Board, Annette Osso, Managing Director, Resilient Virginia, and Janine Finnell, Leaders in Energy

In October, a forum on the Utilities of the Future gave attendees the opportunity to discuss recent developments in the changing role of utilities and future of energy provision. Our speakers included industry experts from the Edison Electric Institute (Dr. John Caldwell), the Environmental Defense Fund (Elizabeth Brooke Stein), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Energy Initiative (Cyril Draffin). Topics included grid modernization, electrification, and the future of the electric grid, distributed energy resources, including renewable energy, storage, and demand management, transactive energy and a participatory grid and the potential for decarbonizing the grid.

Leaders in Energy also formed an active Circular Economy Working Group, which since January, meets every 4th Wednesday of the month. Dr. Clifford Deaton is our chair. The Working Group works towards identifying circular economy principles and opportunities for local implementation –‘closing the loop’ so nothing is wasted. In September, the Circular Economy Working Group Tour of C2 Management facilitylooked at see how circular practices are being implemented in the DMV region. 

In October, a USA-Canada event on Transforming Waste into Energy to Advance the Circular Economywas held in partnership with the Quebec Government Office and the Embassy of Canada. 

More information on our circular economy meetings and events can be found here.

Figure 3: Leaders in Energy Circular Economy Technical Tour in September 2018 at C2 Management in Berryville, VA

Leaders in Energy Ambassador (LEA) Program

Leaders in Energy is also working to connect with its rapidly growing global membership base outside the Washington, DC, area, consisting of individuals who are passionate about contributing to the development of sustainable and environmentally responsible communities around the world.  However, each individual community is unique in terms of its local infrastructure, natural resources, labor force, industrial activity, regulatory policies and incentives, pace of economic development, and future energy and resource needs.  Building an effective global action network will therefore require LEA to help align and connect a diverse set of participants at distinct local and regional levels who share a direct stake in the sustainable development of their particular community. 

The goal of the Ambassador program is two-fold:

            a) Provide structure, framework, and shared resources to help develop local action networks both within the US and internationally under the directorship of LEA and led by regional ambassadors at the local level

            b) Collaboratively ensure integration and communication of lessons learned and best practices across regions with an aim to increase membership penetration and improve geographic diversification of membership base.

Green finance, economy, and jobs

Leaders in Energy is dedicated to getting more people working in sectors that help to regenerate the planet and help finance this by mobilizing funds for start-ups and other businesses. In January, in partnership with Potential Energy DC, Leaders in Energy’s the 4th annual Green Financing event, Clean Energy Project Financing: Where the rubber meets the road

This past year, Leaders in Energy had a strong focus on green jobs, with events and workshops to both help connect job seekers with job providers, and to train hundreds of participants with the crucial skills to land their ‘dream green job’. In January, Dr. Beth Offenbacker led the sold-out Green Career Workshop, where participants explored their own career strengths and preferences, and how these can be tailored to for success in the green economy.

In May and June, Dr. Offenbacker led the inaugural 6-part Green Career Momentum Series: Land or Create Your Dream Green Job, featuring keynote speakers from different sectors of the green economy and with a wide range of expertise. Each interactive session focused on a unique theme and development of different skills, and included opportunities for networking and exercises to practice skills, including: 

Working with External Recruiters vs. Internal Recruiters

The Green Economy: Job and Career Trends You Need to Know About

Getting in the Door: Executive Communications, Resumes, and Cover Letter

Green Organizations ‘On the Inside’–Challenges and Opportunities

Figure 4: Green Career Momentum Session  taking place at Green America in May 2018

In August, the 5th Annual Green Jobs Forum on “Growing a Clean Regional Economy”

held at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments featured officials from around the region in clean tech and employment services as well as LE members who had found or created green jobs to give their advice and tips to others. Read more in our recap articles titled  D.C. Wants You: Our Nation’s Capital is a Hub for Green Jobsand The Green Graduate’s Guide to Getting a Job.

We also started a Green Jobs Working Group. Its objectives are to systematically look at talent needs for “Green Energy” employers in the DC region and create useful data for job seekers and employers. Initial Target Categories include the following: 

Technology companies (software and hardware, etc.)

Solutions companies (consulting, trading, energy sales, etc.)

Development companies (originating projects, installations)

NGO’s (International and US, energy and sustainability)

Federal Agencies (research and development)

Federal Agencies (control and regulatory)

Advocacy (trade associations)

Networking and workgroups (for networking as opposed to employment).  

Multigenerational leadership and talent 

In June, the inaugural Green Leaders for Local Impact Retreatat the beautiful Potomac Overlook Regional Park brought participants together to explore how community initiatives and local leadership could promote action towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Figure 5: Green Leadership Retreat held at Potomac Overlook Regional Park in June 2018

In November, the 5th annual Four Generations of Clean Energy and Sustainable Solutions Awards and Holiday Event recognized clean energy and sustainable leaders who are making an impact across each of the 4 generations: Millennial, Gen X, Baby Boomer and World War II.  Awardees who were recognized included: 

•           World War II Generation, Dr. Herman Daly is a pioneer in ecological economics and steady-state economics, an Emeritus Professor at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy, and author.  (Accepted by Dr. Brian Czech, Executive Director, Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy, known as “CASSE”)

•           Baby Boomer Generation, Queen Zakia Shabazz is a Coordinator of the Virginia Environmental Justice (EJ) Collaborative, a network of environmental organizations tackling a variety of issues in a variety of geographies throughout Virginia.

•           Gen X Generation, Stephen Coughlin is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Fluence, a joint venture between AES and Siemens that has deployed nearly 700 MW of grid-connected storage projects in sixteen countries around the world. 

•           Millennial Generation, Lindsey Shaw is the Commercial Energy Program Manager at the Montgomery Country Department of Environmental Protection and innovator of cutting edge programs.

Read more about the previous Four Generations Awards event themes and awardees in the Four Generations Hall of Fame.   More is also available in our Event Archiveson the program’s slide presentation and recap article featuring the Awardees’ remarks.  Their video presentations are also available on Leaders in Energy YouTube channel here.

Our website, blog, and resources

This year we introduced a Leaders in Energy website refresh with a new layout and domain.  We changed from the www.lercpa.org to www.leadersinenergy.org.

We’re thrilled to share that we’ve had a record number of blog articles in 2018—and we’re looking forward to featuring more articles, new authors, and add to our growing list of Clean Energy and Sustainability Resourcesand Career Resources.

Check out a few of our most popular articles of 2018 here, and see the Addendum section for the complete list of 2018 blogs:

Cambodia’s Renewable Energy Prospects

A great time to be part of clean energy project finance

What is the Affordable Clean Energy rule and how does it compare to the Clean Power Plan?

How 3 Cities Are Navigating the Transition to Electric Buses

Single Organizing Idea–A Force for Good: An Interview with Neil Gaught

Clean energy is winning, says Extravaganza keynote speaker

Links to a number of our 2018 newsletters are available hereand are also provided in the Addendum section.    

Support from Green Community Sponsors 

Leaders in Energy was fortunate to be supported by many sponsors including:  ACEArlingtonGreenCadmusCareer ConfidenceCarrierCiscoCoffeffeThe College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES) at the University of the District of Columbia, CSRADarktraceDC Net ImpactDC Sustainable Energy UtilityEdison Electric InstituteEdge HostingeSai LLCFilmBison MediaGreen Leaders DCGRID Alternatives Mid-AtlanticGroupsenseHome Energy MedicsInternational Society of Sustainability ProfessionalsJohnson ControlsLongenecker & AssociatesMeteoVivaMicrogrid KnowledgeMOM’s Organic MarketNissan LeafPotential Energy DCResilient VirginiaTeslaThe Solar FoundationSourcebooksThermaxx JacketsUnited Nations Association of the National Capital Area (UNA-NCA), U.S. Green Building CouncilVMDOWater Management, Inc.Waterford, Inc.40 Plus, and others.

In Memoriam – Recognizing Two Leaders in Energy Members 

Jan Brinch

We sadly learned on September about the passing of a dear colleague, friend, and Leaders in Energy member, Jeannette “Jan” Brinch. Jan made multiple, valuable contributions to our organization as a panel speaker, facilitator, and moderator. She served as the moderator of our 2016 “Undebate on Clean Energy and Sustainability” held at the New York University (NYU) Campus in Washington DC. You can read more about her in our newsletter here.

Jim Pierbon

The Virginia clean energy community is enormously saddened to learn of the passing of Jim Pierobon, a courageous champion and always clear voice. Jim brought to his energy coverage astute insight, solid values, in-depth knowledge, and eternal integrity. He will be much missed. You can read more about him in our newsletter here.

Towards a Better and Greener Future

We are looking forward to continuing our work towards advancing clean energy and sustainable solutions to create a better and greener world.  Leaders in Energy invites you to join our active community of leaders. Connect on LinkedInFacebook, and Twitter, and we hope to see you at one of our upcoming events and our monthly Circular Economy Working Groupmeetings. 

Figure 6: Audience at Utilities of the Future Event in October 2018

Coming in 2019

Here’s a sneak peek of what’s planned for 2019: 

January 24th: Innovative Clean Energy Project Financing

February 15th: Clean Energy & Sustainability Extravaganza – 

The George Washington University (more information coming soon)

See our  2019 Event Calendar


Events and Programs2018
Green Career WorkshopJanuary 24
Green FinancingJanuary 
Inaugural Circular Working Group MeetingJanuary   (Meetings took place approximately once a month, generally on the 4thWednesday) 
CWEEL – Clean Energy & Sustainability Extravaganza at the University of MarylandFebruary 23
Leaders in Energy Exhibit at the Northern Virginia Community College’s Annual Green Festival at its Annandale Campus (in Fairfax, VA) This year’s theme is “Towards Environmental Resilience in a Changing World”.  Janine Finnell, Leaders in Energy, presented on trends in energy). April 26th
Green Career Momentum Kick-Off (see schedule listing below) April 19th(held in May, June) 
LE participated as a speaker (John Gaffigan) in Energy and Sustainability Seminar, Crystal Gateway Marriott 1700 Jefferson Davis Highway Arlington, Virginia by Energy Sustainability Services.  May 9th
Inaugural Green Leaders Retreat at Potomac Overlook ParkJune 7th
5th Annual Green Jobs Forum and Green Career Workshops (1.0 and 2.0) August 16
Circular Economy Technical Tour to C2 Management, a recycling facility in Berryville, VA, and a local sustainable vineyard (Sunset Hills)September 
Utilities of the Future    October 4
Waste Symposium at Northern Virginia Community College (LE participated as exhibitor)October 17
Transforming Waste into Energy to Advance the Circular EconomyOctober 25th
The 5thAnnual Four Generations of Leaders in Clean Energy & Sustainability Awards and Holiday EventNovember 30th
Green Career Momentum Sessions
Working with External Recruiters vs. Internal RecruitersCheryl Bedard, The McCormick GroupApril 19, 2018, Noon to 1 pm(In-person)
The Green Economy: Job and Career Trends You Need to Know AboutNorman Christopher, Grand Valley State University and leading researcher on green economy jobs (invited)May 3, 20187-8:30 pm(Virtual)
Creating Your Green Job, through a job you get, OR through a company you startHerve Billiet, IpSun Power,  and Tim Bagley, WGL EnergyMay 17, 20187-8:30 pm(In-person)
Getting In the Door: Executive Communications, Resumes and Cover LettersEdythe Richards, MWAA and Career Coach, and Leonard Adler, Manager of LinkedIn group of 100,000+ members on Green Jobs and Career NetworkMay 31, 20187-8:30 pm(Virtual)
Green Organizations “On the Inside” – Challenges and Opportunities Dave Feldman, Green America and Steve Offutt. Green Business RoundtableJune 14, 20187 – 8:30 pm(In –person)
Inside the Organization: What Happens After the Interview and Before the OfferNature Conservancy HR RecruitersJune 21,20187-8:30 pm(Virtual)

2018 E-Newsletters

New Year, New Look at Leaders in Energy Website and Upcoming Events (January 3, 2018)
Thanks to All Who Attended Green Career Workshop (January 25, 2018)
Thanks to All Who Attended Our Green Financing Event (January 25, 2018) 
Thanks to All Who Participated in Our Clean Energy and Sustainability Extravaganza at the University of Maryland Last Friday (February 26, 2018)
Circular Economy Working Group Meeting on 3/13 and Upcoming Events Calendar (March 6, 2018) 
Welcome to Our 3000th Member (March 21, 2018)
Green Career Momentum Series to Begin (April 18, 2018) 
Thanks for Attending Our Green Leaders Retreat and What’s Coming Up (June 13, 2018)
Meet Our New Blog Editor, Miriam Aczel; Nature Conservancy at GCM; Blockchain Workshop & More! (June 20, 2018)
Announcing Our Green Jobs Forum Speakers from MD and VA and Welcoming Our New Director of Training and Development, Dr. Beth Offenbacker! (July 18, 2018)
Three Weeks to Go! Meet our Panel 2 Speakers Working in Green Jobs (July 26, 2018) 
Welcome Deborah Lenny, 3,100th member, of our LinkedIn group + 8/16 Green Jobs Forum & Workshops (August 3, 2018)
EIN Press Release for 8/16 Green Jobs Forum Listing Speakers and Exhibitors (August 6, 2018)
Thanks for Attending Our Green Jobs Forum Plus Networking Shoutouts (August 17, 2018)
Circular Economy Technical Tour; Utilities of the Future; and Photos from Our Green Jobs Forum! (September 5, 2018)
Tribute to Jeannette “Jan” Brinch, Utilities of the Future Speakers & CE Tour! (September 12. 2018)
10/4 Utilities of the Future, Clean Energy Week, and Four Gen Nominations Coming! (September 21, 2018)
Four Gen Awards Nominations Now Open!  Early Bird Ending Tomorrow for 10/4 Utilities Event (September 26, 2018)
Help Us Find Our Four Gen Leaders!  Nomination Deadline is Friday, October 19th (October 8, 2018)
LE Receives Special Recognition Award & Upcoming Events and Programs (October 18, 2018)
Special Press Release: Announcing Our Four Gen Awardees…Drumroll Please! (November 6, 2018)

2018 Blog Articles


Urgency for leadership to spark collective action and transformational change

Leaders in Energy 2017 Year in Review


Measuring Up: Smart Meter Lessons from the UK

Want to Live in a More Sustainable World?


A great time to be part of clean energy project finance

Career Perspectives from Women Leaders in Cleantech

University of Maryland researchers share expert knowledge

Extravaganza Sponsors Provide Sustainable Solutions to Environmental Challenges

Clean energy is winning, says Extravaganza keynote speaker

Leaders in Energy celebrates its 3,000th member!


Why I am Encouraged About Our Energy Future

Meeting the New Generation of Energy Leaders

Highlights from Sold-Out January Green Career Workshop


Recruiting expert shares industry insight with green career professionals

Is the Electrical Grid moving back to the 1880’s?

MethaneSAT: Monitoring Methane Emissions From Space

Fossil Fuel Swap: New Study Shows ‘Overlooked’ Benefits of Switching from Coal to Gas


GREEN LEADERS RETREAT is JUNE 8th! Accelerating Local Community Solutions Using the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Why Domestic REC’s Should Take Precedence in Maryland

Energy in Cambodia: Challenges and Opportunities

Mini Grids: Providing electricity to Myanmar’s communities away from the grid

Sprynt – A Sustainable Urban Mobility Solution from the U.S.

Limitless: The Race to Create the Sun on Earth

The People of Bogotá Want Cleaner Air. Will the City Listen?

How to design an energy efficient bedroom

How 3 Cities Are Navigating the Transition to Electric Buses

Green Organizations ‘On the Inside’–Challenges and Opportunities

From planning to partnerships: What’s driving smart city initiatives around the world

The Green Economy: Jobs and Career Trends You Need to Know About


Canada and climate change: the transition to a low-carbon economy is a golden opportunity

An Evaluation of Brazil’s RenovaBio Program

Cambodia’s Renewable Energy Prospects

Car Dealerships as a Barrier to Electric Vehicle Uptake

Getting the Interview for Your Perfect Green Job

The Italian Energy Audits model: A “cocktail” of best practices that lead to success

The Road to Mass Market EVs in the USA

Leaders in Energy welcomes its 3,100th member!

Connecting Individuals with Solar Jobs


Green Leaders Examine United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals to Accelerate Local Action in Washington DC Region

France’s Energy Future with Macron at the Helm

The Community Choice Energy model is gaining momentum in California. Can this knowledge be transferred to Europe?

Skills you need to succeed in green energy and sustainability jobs

Growing Green Careers, Jobs, and Businesses for a Clean Economy — Attend the Green Jobs Forum on August 16th in DC to learn more!

Renewable integration strategies in regulated and deregulated electricity market structures

Networking, New Skills, and Learning from Others: An Interview with Spencer Schecht

4 Lessons from Bhopal and Bogotá on Launching Citywide Bike Sharing

SCOOP & STACK Causing Cracks: Oklahoma Tightens Regulations to Curb Fracking Earthquakes

The Green Graduate’s Guide to Getting a Job

D.C. Wants You: Our Nation’s Capital is a Hub for Green Jobs

Greening Your “Back to School”

China’s Gas Shortage

Solving for Water Security at the Source

Eco-Friendly Tips for Pet Owners

What is the Affordable Clean Energy rule and how does it compare to the Clean Power Plan?

Virginia’s rural co-ops learning lessons with community solar

Defense Authorization Bill Includes Provisions on Modernizing Energy Infrastructure and Enhancing Resilience

Could climate change make mosquitoes worse in Virginia? The answer is more complicated than you might think.

For thriving cities, people vs. nature is a false choice


Energy Brands and Strategic Vision

This One Simple Action Could Enhance Your Health and Wellbeing

The Source of the Icelandic Energy Transition from Carbon to 100% Renewable

Photos from 2018 Green Jobs Forum

French Environment Minister’s Resignation: A Frustrated Call for Climate Action

The Decentralization and Democratization of Energy

The HERA Group: from Local Utility to Global Sustainable Development

What is the Triple Bottom Line and Why is it Crucial for Business Success?

Rethink, Reduce, and Reuse: Textile Edition!

Tips and Tricks for Clean Green Business Operations

Beyond the Label: How the Clean Label Trend Is Impacting the Food Industry

Delivering Energy Efficiency in Industry: How the Hera Group turned an obligation into an innovative and successful business strategy

Check Yourself: A Plastic-Free Checklist

12 Countries Sign Historic Agreement Guaranteeing Environmental Rights in Latin America and the Caribbean

Similarities between the Italian Hera Group and the Community Choice Energy programs in California


International perspectives and best practices from “Community Choice Energy” in providing financing for energy efficiency upgrades at the local level

Recent Scientific Advancements Show New Connections Between Climate Change and Hurricanes

Buy It For Life: Best Products That Last Forever

The Time for Business to Act is Now

8 Reasons Why You Should Use A Zero Waste Shop

Janine Finnell Honored at 2018 Maryland Clean Energy Summit with Special Recognition Award

Making Food Production and Land Use More Sustainable Could Yield $2.3 Trillion in Economic Benefits

5 Years of CELI: A Conversation with Mishal Thadani

Brazil’s Wind Energy Development and Trends

Circular Economy Working Group Tour of C2 Management facility, September 22, 2018

Sunshine in a Glass: Sustainable Vineyard Tour

Is Climate Change a Security Issue?

Utilities of the Future: Recap

Brazil’s Amazonian Mangroves: Crucial for Climate Change Mitigation


Workshop Explores Local Government Clean Energy Financing Alternatives

Inventive, Eco-Conscious Solutions for Shared Offices

Indian Prime Minister Modi: A UN Climate Champion

Climate Change and Canada’s Carbon Tax: A Necessary Step

Transforming Waste into Energy to Advance the Circular Economy: Canada – USA Event Recap

Comprehensive School Health & Active School Travel

Single Organizing Idea–A Force for Good: An Interview with Neil Gaught

Get Empowered to Make a Green Difference in 2019!

Cambodia’s Buddhist Monks Fight Against Deforestation


Impact Investing, Climate Change, and the SDG’s

Urban Hanging Gardens: A Win-Win For Puerto Rico

Why Going Green Is Smart For Your Business

Social Investment: Gaps and Opportunities in Emerging Markets

The value of a carbon price in Canada

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