The winners of the Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (formerly WoWE) Awards were announced at the annual luncheon held at AWEA’s WINDPOWER 2017 this week in California. The awards put the spotlight on professionals at the pinnacle of the industry and on the up-and-coming next generation of leaders.
All three winners provide examples of achievement, creativity, and courage.
“These awards offer a critical opportunity to showcase successful women and men across all of the technology sectors – to give them the recognition they really deserve, to appreciate their accomplishments, and for others to potentially aspire to follow their paths.” said Kristen Graf, WRISE Executive Director.
The WRISE award winners
Rising Star – Emily Williams builds and leads relationships with renewable energy developers as the Director of Energy Supply for Edison Energy Powered by Altenex. She is leading the charge for one of the fastest growing segments of the renewable industry, corporate procurement. She supports her clients with market intelligence, project and developer updates, and analytical assessments of the renewable energy projects available.
Previously, Emily was the Deputy Director, Industry Data and Analysis at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) where she was in charge of compiling, validating, and translating the data at the backbone of the wind industry for various market reports. This data was used across the industry to make the case for renewables at the state level supporting lobbyists for appropriate policies in addition to helping to formulate the Department of Energy Wind Vision.
Champion Award – Michael Arquin is the director of the KidWind Project and is currently engaged in a variety of projects to improve the quality of materials and training related to wind-energy education for K-12 science and technology teachers. Prior to starting KidWindhe was a middle and high school science educator teaching Biology, Chemistry, and Physical Science.
Michael was also a lead developer and teacher trainer at the Boston Museum of Science on a variety of projects including the Engineering is Elementary curriculum initiative, a $5M NSF initiative to develop engineering education for elementary teachers and students.
Woman of the Year – Stephanie Kushner is a woman pioneer in the industrial sector. After serving as Chief Financial Officer for Broadwind Energy for six years, she was named President and CEO in 2016. Her belief that the future for wind energy was bright and full of potential has guided her through the erratic PTC on-off again cycles and a global recession. This belief continues to inspire her and others in the company she now heads.
Stephanie’s never-give-up attitude and her broad business background have been invaluable tools to her own company and the industry at large. She is an inspiration to other women as an influential senior leader providing global perspective, strategic insight and sound judgment to companies undergoing growth, diversification and consolidation in the face of dramatic industry and market shifts.
She excels at corporate finance, controllership and treasury across domestic and international businesses, subsidiaries and corporate HQs. She is a member of WRISE and strongly supports the organization, regularly participating in Chicago chapter events.
Each year, WRISE awards fellowships to women college students or recent graduates to attend the annual American Wind Energy Association WINDPOWER conference. The fellowship honors wind industry pioneer Rudd Mayer of Boulder, Colorado, who passed away in 2002.
The Rudd Mayer Memorial Fellowships support women to participate in WINDPOWER, attending seminars on current wind energy issues, viewing state-of-the-art technology, meeting women and men in the renewable energy field, and connecting with employers about potential internships or permanent positions.
The 2017 Rudd Mayer Fellows:
• Meghan Kaminski University of Virginia, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
•Bridgit Kodenkandath University of Colorado, Boulder, Environmental Studies
• Leah Louis-Prescott Duke University, Energy & Environment
• Kate McClellan Press University of Massachusetts Amherst, Marine Science
• Bahar Sayed James Madison University, Integrated Science and Technology
In 2016 WRISE was thrilled to partner with the Wind Energy Foundation and AWEA to launch a new scholarship program for women in or graduating from degree and training programs for wind technicians. This Scholarship is focused on furthering the education of women in wind energy and is designed to help diversify the wind energy workforce and provide greater opportunities for women in the field.
2017 Wind at Our Backs Scholars
• Stephanie Booth Arizona State University, Mechanical Engineering
• Jackie Brumbaugh Ecotech Institute, Wind Energy Technology
• BrandyCyre High Plains Technology Center, Wind Energy Technology
• Jessica Fischer SUNY Canton, Mechanical Engineering Technology
• BrookeLorwey-Mora Ecotech Institute, Wind Energy Technology
• Tiana Ortega Ecotech Institute, Wind Energy Technology
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