In the summer of 2015, HeatSpring set out to profile a few of the absolutely amazing women making waves in the solar industry…
After discovering a shocking dearth of women students enrolled in our courses, and researching the far larger industry trend boasting almost entirely male dominated solar companies and organizations, we decided to take action. From these unsettling statistics the Solar Women Summer Series was born.
We asked policy makers, panel installers, legal consultants, administrative assistants, communication experts, students, marketers, saleswomen, engineers, teachers, c-suite executives, lawyers and nonprofit workers in the solar field to tell us their stories. We received an overwhelmingly positive response, and (to our joyous surprise) we discovered that we were not alone in wanting to educate, support and inspire women. In fact, we were in great company.
One of the incredible groups we discovered had been creating positive change and invigorating the industry since it’s inception in 2011. Women in Solar Energy (or, appropriately, WISE) is “the Premier Global Non-Profit Network for Women in the Solar Energy Industry” and the brilliant minds behind #NationWISE, the yearly multi-city round table event created with the goal of bringing women together to discuss diverse solar career paths and experiences and to prompt open discussion about female-friendly work environments.
This year, HeatSpring is proud to be a national media sponsor, and co-host of the Boston #NationWISE cohort.
Our esteemed speakers are…
Alicia Barton currently serves as Chief of Operations (COO) for SunEdison’s Global Utility business unit. SunEdison is the world’s largest renewable energy development company and is transforming the way energy is generated, distributed, and owned around the globe.
From 2012 to 2015 Alicia served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), a publicly-funded agency dedicated to building a clean energy future for Massachusetts. Under Alicia’s leadership, MassCEC helped to make Massachusetts one the leading states in the country for clean energy deployment and innovation, including top-five rankings in energy efficiency, solar energy, solar jobs, private investment in clean energy, and as measured by the number global-leading cleantech companies that call Massachusetts home.
Alicia has served as member of the Board of Directors or Board of Advisors for many of the leading clean energy organizations in the Northeast, including the country’s largest clean tech incubator Greentown Labs, the Northeast Clean Energy Council (NECEC) Institute, the Cleantech Open Northeast, and the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainability Energy Systems (CSE). In 2015 Alicia was named one of the Boston Business Journal’s top business leaders under the age of 40 in its annual “40 Under 40” rankings.
Prior to her appointment as CEO of MassCEC, Alicia held several positions within the energy and environmental agencies of the Commonwealth, and began her career as an environmental attorney in private practice. She obtained her Bachelors of Science from The Ohio State University, and earned her law degree at Boston College Law School.
Sara Ross is the CEO of Sungage Financial, a company she founded to build a more affordable, sustainable, and enjoyable path to solar ownership for as many homeowners as possible. The inspiration for the company came from Sara’s own experience installing solar on her 100-year old farmhouse in Massachusetts. Through that process, Sara experienced firsthand the need to develop consumer-friendly financing solutions that could be deployed with ease into the marketplace. Sara’s voice was one of the first to argue that consumer preferences would shift away from third-party ownership and toward direct ownership of solar assets, a trend now well underway. Under her leadership, Sungage has grown to be one of leading clean energy companies in Massachusetts and received a SunShot grant for its contribution to reducing soft costs. Prior to Sungage, Sara was a policy and economic analyst for the City of New York, Harvard University, USAID, and Abt Associates. She holds an MPA/ID from the Harvard Kennedy School and is the mother of two children.
Jusidman is (pronounced “who-seed-man”)… Always an avid outdoor adventurer, Jordana’s appreciation and respect for the natural environment seeded her ambition to pursue a “green” career at an early age.
Jordana received dual BAs from the University of California, Davis in Global Health, Environment, and Natural Resources and Spanish. After several years working in outdoor education, she attended the Vermont Law School where she earned a J.D. and a Masters in Environmental Law and Policy. During this time, Jordana began focusing on grass roots campaigns and legal actions to address climate change issues.
Jordana joined the Business Development team at groSolar, a Vermont based turnkey developer and EPC provider, in 2013. As the Manager of Development Services at groSolar, Jordana provides in-house legal services and institutional management of business development opportunities and project development. She is most excited when working with a team of solar project stakeholders to identify or craft a solution to a problem, knowing that together they are paving the way for the deployment of solar energy.
Regardless of the season, when not working, Jordana is probably climbing, riding, or skiing on a mountain somewhere in the Northeast.
Anita is an experienced and successful business leader with a proven track record of creating solid management teams and securing solid financial backing. Mrs. Worden is a co-founder and Co-CEO of Solectria Renewables and brings exceptional leadership, team building and financial relationships to the Company. Since 2005, she has led the organization and increased the Company’s financial strength resulting in zero debt. Under Mrs. Worden’s leadership, Solectria Renewables’ revenues have grown multi-fold and it has become a leader in the Photovoltaic Inverter industry.
In 2014, Mrs. Worden managed Solectria’s successful acquisition by Yaskawa America Inc. From 1989-2005, as the Co-Founder, President, and Board Member of Solectria Corporation, an internationally recognized leader in the electric and hybrid vehicle industry, she skillfully lead all aspects of operations and finance, resulting in the Company’s tremendous growth and its successful sale in 2005. Mrs. Worden is on the Board of the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce, participates on the Merrimack Valley Workforce Investment Board, is a member of the YMCA Active Science Advisory Board and is on the Merrimack Valley General Fund Grants Committee (ECCF). Mrs. Worden has been recognized by the Boston Business Journal and Mass High Tech as a 2013 Woman to Watch. In 2014, she was recognized by Boston Globe Magazine and The Commonwealth Institute’s list of Top 100 Women Led Businesses in Massachusetts. She has been recognized by the YWCA as one of the recipients of the Annual Tribute to Women awards and has been nominated as a 2015 ILC Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year. Mrs. Worden is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Tamika N. Jacques, Ed.D. serves as the Director for Workforce Development at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (“MassCEC”), where she oversees programs such as the Internship Program and the Workforce Capacity Program. Over the past four years, Tamika created new workforce initiatives such as the Successful Women in Clean Energy Program and the Learn and Earn (High-School Students) Program and the annual Clean Energy Symposium for Higher Education students . Prior to joining MassCEC, Tamika served as the Executive Director for the Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board, where she oversaw job training programs for the Commonwealth, developed and published policy reports around the Governor’s workforce development priorities and led and established collaborations with both state, business and local partners in the workforce development system. Tamika’s diverse work experience also includes teaching as an English as a Second Other Language (ESOL) instructor and working with first generation, low income and disabled higher education students; and she also served as a District Representative for Congressman Stephen F. Lynch. Tamika graduated from Suffolk University with a B.S. in International Economics; M.S. from Northeastern University and an Ed.D. from Johnson and Wales University.
…Remember to RSVP! We can’t wait to see you there!
Join us at #NationWISE 2016! WISE hosting events around the country, and your voice is integral to keeping the conversation going. RSVP here.