Nexamp Women in Solar

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March is Women’s History Month. A time to celebrate and acknowledge the immeasurable contributions of women throughout our history. As we approach the end of the March, we’re taking time to reflect on all the women helping advance the solar and renewable energy industry.

We don’t see women representation and participation in the solar industry enough. In fact, the U.S. Solar Industry Diversity Study, found that women represented only 26% of the solar workforce in 2019. At Nexamp, we strive every day to be fair and inclusive in our business practices, and that means we also embrace diversity at every level of our workplace. We’re taking important steps to make the change we want to see in the solar and renewable energy space.

Here are just a few of the many women at Nexamp who are building the future of energy, so it is clean simple and accessible to all:

Theodora OkiroDescribe your role at Nexamp:

THEO: I am a Senior Policy Associate at Nexamp focused on our Midwest Markets. I translate policy frameworks into business risks and opportunities. I also utilize a broad-based set of skills in advocacy and analysis by engaging with external stakeholders such as legislators and community groups to promote a successful community solar market in our Midwest markets.

Why do you think it’s important to have a diverse workforce in the solar and renewable energy industry?

THEO: The future of energy is in solar and renewable energy. This sector is well-placed to promote an invigorating future that benefits all communities. It is imperative that the workforce directly reflects communities of all stripes.

Why do you love working in solar energy?

THEO: I love working in solar energy because it is an innovative model that leverages an abundance resource – the sun, to power society. I find that to be really cool. I also love the people in the industry! Everyone is so committed.

What’s your focus on in 2021?

THEO: Working to ensure stability in existing Midwest markets (IL and Mn) through policy and regulatory advising. Also working to catalyze a Community solar market in other Midwest states and engage stakeholders in these states.

Kelly FriendDescribe your role at Nexamp:

KELLY: I support the Policy team! We are responsible for advocating for policies that allow us to be competitive, to be innovative, and to grow. We also serve as an internal resource, advising the business units on opportunities and challenges that exist in our active and new markets.

Why do you think it’s important to have a diverse workforce in the solar and renewable energy industry?

KELLY: Aside from all of the demonstrable and proven benefits that companies with diverse workforces enjoy, the clean energy industry is uniquely positioned to account for and correct the systemic and structural inequalities that have created the climate emergency we are all facing. We cannot be sincere in our belief that the future of energy must be accessible to all if we are not willing to ensure the people bringing about that future are representative of the communities we serve.

Why do you love working in solar energy?

KELLY: I take great pride in knowing that we are a company that is helping solve the existential crisis of our lifetimes. The stakes are so high and yet everyday we get to work tackling new challenges and making a difference.

What’s your focus on in 2021?

KELLY: In 2021, it’s all about finding opportunities to create value for the internal teams. We spend a lot of our time fighting fires, playing defense. That work will not stop, but we want to be a part of the operational muscle of the business going forward, expand and build new markets. find and secure new opportunities.

Lynn Robbis

Describe your role at Nexamp:

LYNN: Responsible for the management of all Community Solar construction projects in the Western US.

Why do you think it’s important to have a diverse workforce in the solar and renewable energy industry?

LYNN: Diversity in the workplace allows Nexamp to be a melting pot with associates bringing their unique experiences and different viewpoints to the organization. This allows for creativity and brings a variety of ideas to the table. This allows the organization to resolve issues faster, increase efficiencies and broaden associate mindset.

Why do you love working in solar energy?

LYNN: I have a passion for sustainability, specifically, bringing a clean energy source to communities throughout the state of IL.

What’s your focus on in 2021?

LYNN: With the core team in place, we will have continuity from 2020. There will be a few additional team members hired along the way with synergies and processes improving/strengthening. Our goal, for this small but mighty Team, is to complete 20 Projects or 54mw of power here in IL including the first three landfill Projects on time and within budget.  We also plan to kick off Projects in MN and CA later in 2021.

Karen Lalley

Describe your role at Nexamp:

KAREN: The People team’s mission is to support Nexamp in achieving its goals by attracting, retaining, developing, and empowering a diverse group of talented People. I oversee the talent acquisition, development, and operational teams which all work together to support this mission.

Why do you think it’s important to have a diverse workforce in the solar and renewable energy industry?

KAREN: Research tells us that diversity is important to the growth and success of any organization. When you have people with different backgrounds, education, ages, ethnicities, and life experiences generating ideas and listening to each other, you’re bound to have a more innovative, critical thinking team.

Why do you love working in solar energy?

KAREN: I love working in the solar energy industry because it offers a feeling of purpose and of giving back to our planet and the people who inhabit. I started my career in Social Work, and though I’ve veered from it over the years at different types of organizations, I am so happy to have that purpose driven perspective back again.

What’s your focus on in 2021?

Karen: The People Team’s focus for 2021 is continued growth. We’ve been hiring at a rapid pace over the past two years and that will continue through 2021 and likely 2022. Growth in numbers also bring opportunities to train and develop our team members so that they will stay and grow with us.

Today and every day, we honor women’s resilience, grace and their fight to push through, no matter what!

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