By MIRIAM ACZEL
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
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:
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
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:
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: ACE, ArlingtonGreen, Cadmus, Career Confidence, Carrier, Cisco, Coffeffe, The College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES) at the University of the District of Columbia, CSRA, Darktrace, DC Net Impact, DC Sustainable Energy Utility, Edison Electric Institute, Edge Hosting, eSai LLC, FilmBison Media, Green Leaders DC, GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic, Groupsense, Home Energy Medics, International Society of Sustainability Professionals, Johnson Controls, Longenecker & Associates, MeteoViva, Microgrid Knowledge, MOM’s Organic Market, Nissan Leaf, Potential Energy DC, Resilient Virginia, Tesla, The Solar Foundation, Sourcebooks, Thermaxx Jackets, United Nations Association of the National Capital Area (UNA-NCA), U.S. Green Building Council, VMDO, Water Management, Inc., Waterford, Inc., 40 Plus, and others.
In Memoriam – Recognizing Two Leaders in Energy Members
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.
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 LinkedIn, Facebook, 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 Programs||2018|
|Green Career Workshop||January 24|
|Inaugural Circular Working Group Meeting||January (Meetings took place approximately once a month, generally on the 4thWednesday)|
|CWEEL – Clean Energy & Sustainability Extravaganza at the University of Maryland||February 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 Park||June 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 Economy||October 25th|
|The 5thAnnual Four Generations of Leaders in Clean Energy & Sustainability Awards and Holiday Event||November 30th|
|Green Career Momentum Sessions|
|Working with External Recruiters vs. Internal Recruiters||Cheryl Bedard, The McCormick Group||April 19, 2018, Noon to 1 pm(In-person)|
|The Green Economy: Job and Career Trends You Need to Know About||Norman 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 start||Herve Billiet, IpSun Power, and Tim Bagley, WGL Energy||May 17, 20187-8:30 pm(In-person)|
|Getting In the Door: Executive Communications, Resumes and Cover Letters||Edythe Richards, MWAA and Career Coach, and Leonard Adler, Manager of LinkedIn group of 100,000+ members on Green Jobs and Career Network||May 31, 20187-8:30 pm(Virtual)|
|Green Organizations “On the Inside” – Challenges and Opportunities||Dave Feldman, Green America and Steve Offutt. Green Business Roundtable||June 14, 20187 – 8:30 pm(In –person)|
|Inside the Organization: What Happens After the Interview and Before the Offer||Nature Conservancy HR Recruiters||June 21,20187-8:30 pm(Virtual)|