The Women of Wind Energy (WoWE), an organization that promotes the engagement, professional development and advancement of women in the wind industry, honored the industry's top women at its annual luncheon at the American Wind Energy Association's (AWEA) WINDPOWER 2009 Conference & Exhibition in Chicago. Over 440 people gathered to celebrate the contributions of women to the industry.
WoWE honored Karen Conover as Wind Woman of the Year for her extensive contributions to the industry. She is the founder of Global Energy Concepts (GEC) and current wind energy segment director for DNV-GEC. Conover has over 20 years of experience with wind energy technology and other renewable energy applications, many of which continue to be employed in the industry today. She has served on AWEA's board of directors since 1995.
In addition, WoWE honored an emerging leader through its 2009 Rising Star Award. Sarah Wright, founder of Utah Clean Energy (UCE), won the award this year for her accomplishments in promoting wind, renewable energy and energy efficiency within Utah. In addition to serving as UCE's executive director, Wright serves on Gov. Jon Huntsman's Energy Advisory Council and the Blue Ribbon Advisory Council on Climate Change.
WoWE announced the formation of its own independent nonprofit and search for a full-time executive director. The group also launched a new WoWE brand and mission statement that focuses on organizational growth and women's leadership.
Windustry and its executive director, Lisa Daniels, received special recognition for their foundational support of WoWE in its fledgling years.
WoWE also recognized the 2009 Rudd Mayer Memorial Fellows – generally university students from around the country who are interested in pursuing careers in wind energy. The fellowships support their participation at the WINDPOWER conferences, while also exposing them to wind energy companies that are seeking skilled and talented people for future workforce growth. Of the 26 fellows sponsored in the last four years, nearly all are connected to the wind industry today.
The 2009 recipients include Abigail Breazleale, a student at Northern Arizona University; Anna Carlson, a recent graduate from Bemidji State University; Jessica Strauss, a student at Yale University; Kristen Radecsky, a student at Humboldt University; Myra Blaylock, a student at the University of California, Davis; Sarah Russell-Smith, a student at Stanford University; and Sherry LeDuc, a student at Cloud County Community College.
SOURCE: Women of Wind Energy