What Are You Doing With Your Power?

I recently attended AWE’s Oct. 14  “Power Matters Conference” in Omaha. Nearly 75 women from the energy industry joined me in a quest to expand our knowledge about fuel sources, energy markets and environmental issues. The speakers – whose biographies represented decades of higher education, hundreds of professional risks and opportunities, and the continuous paradigm of work/life balance – inspired me to do and be more than I am today as a woman working in the energy industry.


Sue Kelly, APPA President & CEO, encouraged me to become indispensable as a subject matter expert.  Susan Landahl, senior vice president of Exelon Generation, was cautious about subsidies for renewables while expressing compassion for the closure of Pilgrim where her career first began. And, as she does in this video clip, author and Survivor contestant Holly Hoffman inspired me to believe the leadership flame within each of us is an individual’s choice to light.


After attending the “Power Matters Conference,” I am resolved to use my power and influence to:

1)      Help others succeed. One of the best parts of my job as a manager is to give my staff opportunities, encourage them to try new things, and, through their experiences, help our corporate communications department achieve more.

2)      Ask questions, especially when others don’t. Formerly a high school English teacher, I enjoyed the dialogue I had with students who asked questions. I believe in the concept of “life-long learning” and advise others to be selfish in exploring that which interests you.

3)      See things from others’ points of view. I may not always agree with a colleague or friend’s political, philosophical, or management position, but unless I try to understand why they think as they do, I will only see my own. To get the best view of the world, I need to open my window as far as I can.

If I do these three things with a sincere and meaningful heart, I can’t help but become a better person. And isn’t that where the best power lies?

HBJ reveals first-ever Women in Energy Leadership honorees

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When someone mentions executives in the energy industry, a female executive is probably not the first image that pops into your mind.

That stigma doesn’t ring true in Houston, where there are hundreds of women in executive positions at energy companies of all sizes. Hence, Houston Business Journal’s first-ever Women in Energy Leadership Awards were born to honor these accomplished and deserving professionals.

A panel of judges have selected HBJ’s inaugural Women in Energy Leadership honorees. The 26 women were judged on their career achievement in energy, contribution to company success, community involvement and leadership.

Applicants had to be based in the Houston area and employed in a leadership position at an energy company.

The judging panel included Crystal Ashby, former executive vice president of government and public affairs for BP; John Hofmeister, former president of Shell Oil Co. who is on numerous boards, including Lufkin Industries; Becky Klein, principal at Klein Energy LLC and chair of Power Across Texas; Katie Mehnert, the founder and CEO of Pink Petro; and Peggy Montana, who just retired as CEO of Shell Midstream Partners. Judges recused from voting on an executive if there was a conflict of interest.

The women will be honored at an event on Oct. 20 at the Houstonian Hotel and in a special section of HBJ on Oct. 23. Click here to register for the event.

Think you know a Women in Energy Leadership who should be nominated for next year’s awards? Click here to read the eligibility requirementsAnd click here to nominate.

Save the Date: Women in Energy Panel Coming October 30th

The Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law & Business presents an informative panel moderated by Sylvia Kerrigan and featuring panelists Claire Farley, Stephanie Hildebrandt, and Dr. Peggy Wilson Ph.D. For more information, click on the flyer below: