Women in Power Generation Content Archive

Career Advice from Women in Power Generation

Many thanks to Colleen Campbell of Oakton Energy, who organized and chaired a lively discussion at the 2014 Women in Power Generation panel at ELECTRIC POWER. The April 2 event in New Orleans drew yet another record crowd—just one indication that women in the power industry are thirsty for networking opportunities and sharing career strategies. How good was the panel? So good that most of the crowd came back to the meeting room after a false alarm fire drill—even though it was late afternoon in New Orleans!

Thanks also to the talented, successful, and generous panelists:

  • Suzanne Paouncic, PE, Director, Major Projects & Controls, FirstEnergy Generation Corp.
  • Kim Despeaux, Senior Vice President of Federal Policy, Regulatory and Government Affairs, Entergy Corp.
  • Sallie Rainer, President, Entergy Texas Inc., Entergy Corp.
  • Jennifer Vosburg, President of Louisiana Generating and Sr. VP, NRG Energy Inc.
  • Paula Nelson, Group VP-Business Development, URS


Women at the 2013 ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit
POWER Managing Editor Gail Reitenbach met several impressive women at the Department of Energy’s ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit just outside Washington, D.C., in February. ARPA-E stands for Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, and among those attending the summit were agency staff, researchers who had received grants from the agency for R&D, corporate and national lab partners, as well as researchers and entrepreneurs hoping to learn what the DOE is looking for in future research projects. (Read more about the agency here.) Several award-winning projects are being led by young women (many of them PhD candidates), and their areas of research range from carbon capture and use/sequestration to energy storage technologies to renewable power generation. Those women may not be directly in power generation, but their work will affect the future of this industry in years to come, whether they stay in academia or move into the vendor community or assume public policy positions.

You should also know that the current director of ARPA-E is a woman. Dr. Cheryl Martin, shown below as she explained how the agency is organized and what its goals are, served as host for the three-day summit.

Photo by Gail Reitenbach, POWER

Women in Wind Energy Lunch Panel at ENERGY OCEAN

June 20, 2012–Danvers, Mass.  It was a pleasure to meet some Women in Wind Energy (WOWE) representatives at their first gathering held in conjunction with the ENERGY OCEAN conference. The room, as you can see from the photo below, was exactly half men and half women, with representation from manufacturers, government, media, education, nonprofits, consulting, and other entities involved in offshore energy production issues. We are hoping to collaborate with WOWE and other sector-specific women in energy groups in the future.
-—POWER Managing Editor Dr. Gail Reitenbach

Last year at the ELECTRIC POWER Conference & Exhibition, we held a free-form brainstorming session. At this year’s ELECTRIC POWER in Baltimore, POWER magazine and ELECTRIC POWER hosted a more formal panel discussion about issues of specific interest to women in this industry. Thanks again to all the panelists, pictured below.

Left to right: Co-chair Angela Neville, JD, senior editor of POWER; Erin Toelke, project manager and client services manager, CH2M HILL (filling in for co-chair Colleen Campbell, business development director, CH2M HILL); Sheree Petrone, vice president, fuels & environmental trading, power team, Exelon Generation Co.; Verne Shortell, executive director of environmental business, NRG Energy Inc.; Hilda Pinnix-Ragland, VP corporate public affairs, Progress Energy Inc.; Carol A. Dodson, senior vice president, asset management services, Baltimore Gas & Electric.

The reception.

We couldn’t resist including this shot of Melanie Green, power plant director at CPS Energy after the Monday Power Plant Awards Banquet. Melanie is one of the founding inspirations for and instigators of our Women in Power Generation effort. The number of badge ribbons she’s sporting is a testament to how involved she has been in the ELECTRIC POWER Conference.

SHARE this article