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WRISE Leadership Forum

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2022 Keynotes

Colette Pichon Battle

In 2019, Colette was named an Obama Fellow for her work with Black and Native communities on the frontline of climate change and she gave a TED Talk, "Climate change will displace millions. Here's how we prepare." In 2021, Colette was appointed a Margaret Burroughs Community Fellow. In addition to developing advocacy initiatives that intersect with race, systems of power, and ecology, Colette directs GCCLP's legal services in immigration and disaster law. Under Colette's leadership, the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy serves on the governance council of the Southern Movement Assembly, co-chairs the national Water Equity and Climate Resilient Caucus with PolicyLink, serves on the steering committee of the Ocean Justice Forum, and anchors the 5-state, multi-issue initiative Gulf South for a Green New Deal. Colette was the lead architect of the 13-state Southern Communities for Green New Deal with the Southeast Climate & Energy Network and the Red, Black & Green New Deal, the national climate initiative for the Movement for Black Lives. Colette chairs the Equity Advisory Group of the Louisiana Governor's Climate Initiative Task Force, advises the Kataly Foundation's Environmental Justice Resourcing Collective, serves on the boards of the US Climate Action Network, Center for Constitutional Rights, Highlander Research Education Center, and Healthy Gulf, is a member of the Movement for Black Lives policy table leadership team and the Resilience Roadmap project steering committee.

Vanessa Roanhorse

Jessica Jamese Williams

Dr. Williams' most recent contribution to the field of authenticity and identity can be found in the New York Times best selling anthology, You Are Your Best Thing: Vulnerability, Shame and the Black Experience. Dr. Williams is available for keynote speaking, workshop facilitation, diversity and intersectional identity training, individual coaching and expository writing and dialogues, for more information visit

2022 Speakers

Sarah Augustine

She is a columnist for Anabaptist World, and co-hosts the Doctrine of Discovery podcast with Sheri Hostetler. She and her husband, Dan Peplow, and their son live in the Yakima Valley in Washington State. She is author of the book The Land Is Not Empty: Following Jesus in Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery.

Stephanie Auld

Olgica Bakajin

Under her leadership, the company has been honored with many accolades, including the United States' Small Business Administration Program's Tibbetts Award for exemplary achievement as a small business, in addition to several local innovation awards. Dr. Bakajin was profiled by the San Francisco Business Times as a Transformative Leader in 2019, she received the R&D 100 Award in 2010, NanoTech Briefs Award in 2007, and was been elected Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2011. Dr. Bakajin received her B.A. in Physics and Chemistry from the University of Chicago and her Ph.D. in Physics from Princeton University.

Jessica Bascom

Julie Blunden

Jen Bristol

Crystal Cavalier-Keck

Sandra Chavez

Valerie Choy

Kate Collardson

Nakhia Crossley

Professionally, she has been featured in several publications for her energy regulatory expertise, including Public Utilities Fortnightly, Solar Power World, Crain's Chicago Business and the Chicago Daily Herald. She has been awarded for her leadership efforts, including as Top 40 Under 40 by Crain's Chicago Business, a Top 40 Under 40 Emerging Leader by Energy News Network, a Top 100 Under 50 Executive Leader by Diversity MBA Magazine, a Trailblazer and Emerging Leader in the law by BWLA and with the Honorable A. Leon Higginbotham Jr. Award by the National Bar Association. Nakhia earned her B.S. in Journalism/Mass Communications from North Carolina A&T State University and her J.D. from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, CA. She is a 2020 Fellow of the Chicago Urban League and University of Chicago Booth School of Business IMPACT Executive Leadership Development Program.

Lee Davidson

Lee started their own business in 2014, a food and culture company, Made 2 Gather. Its mission was to strengthen connections and enhance the sense of belonging at organizations and companies with team-building exercises and workshops. One of their favorite opportunities was being a runner-up chef contestant on Food Network Show Chopped. Martha Stewart enjoyed their plate and commented, "This is what I expect from an Israeli chef."
You can find Lee biking across urban trails, camping in remote nature, and dancing at festivals or in front of the mirror before going to bed.

Parul Dhall

Parul has a Graduate Degree in Engineering Science and Mechanics from the Pennsylvania State University and an undergraduate degree in Metallurgical Engineering from Punjab Engineering College, India. She has also completed executive education on Corporate Sustainability Management from Yale School of Management and Climate Change Policy from Harvard Kennedy School. Parul has been an active member of the Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE) and Women Energy Network (Houston Chapters). Through these organizations, she mentors young professionals and mhelps organize events promoting gender equity and sustainable development. In 2021, she was a recognized by Ally Energy with a GRIT award for her leadership and expertise in the energy industry. Parul is a mother of two young boys, and lives with her family in the Woodlands, TX.

Erin Duncan

Sherina Edwards

Additionally, as the youngest commissioner ever appointed in the State of Illinois, Edwards acquired extensive experience on issues impacting the energy and public utility industry while serving a five-year term on the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) where she was charged with ensuring safe, reliable and affordable utility service to Illinois consumers. In 2016, Edwards was appointed by President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx as Co-Chair of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Voluntary Information-Sharing System Working Group, where she provided recommendations to the Secretary of Transportation on the protection of proprietary and security-sensitive information. In addition to her extensive involvement with various civic organizations, Edwards is founder of the Women's Energy Summit and the Women's Energy Network of Chicago. She is nationally recognized for championing diversity and inclusion within the utility and energy sector and her leadership led to the creation of the Illinois Utilities Business Diversity Council and the ICC's Office of Diversity and Community Affairs. Additionally, Edwards serves on the board of directors for SouthWest Water Company. Edwards is graduate of Howard University's School of Law and a cum laude graduate of Spelman College where she received her B.A. in Psychology.

Laila El-Ashmawy
Stephanie Eyocko

Rinah Rachel Galper

She has a Bachelor's degree in Latin American Affairs and Women's Studies, a Master's degree in Education, and three decades of training and experience as a consultant and coach, group facilitator and public speaker, healing practitioner and clergy member, academic and arts educator, service provider, and program coordinator. Ms. Galper was raised and mentored by countless men and women, beginning with her mother, who instilled in her a lifelong passion for justice and deep respect for the ancestors and freedom fighters upon whose shoulders she stands. The stories and lessons she carries from her life and work fuel her commitment to help create collaborative communities and cultures in which we can reimagine and labor for a more just, peaceful, and loving world.

Angie Hacker

Among her clients, Angie serves as lead consultant for the Pala Band of Missions Indians' national Tribal Climate Health Project and as the Statewide Best Practices Coordinator for Local Government Commission's California Climate and Energy Collaborative. She earned a Master of Public Administration from New York University and a Bachelor of Science in Applied Social Psychology from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She is also an active member of the American Society of Adaptation Professionals.

Lauren Haller

Prior to joining Pattern Energy, Lauren worked at Hess Corporation as Legal Counsel where she provided legal and commercial advice to Global Supply Chain (Onshore, Offshore, Midstream & Information Technology) and Global Services (Real Estate & Human Resources) business units. Prior to Hess, Lauren worked at ConocoPhillips Company ("ConocoPhillips") as a Technology and Intellectual Property Attorney. While at ConocoPhillips, Lauren managed an international patent portfolio where she prepared, filed, prosecuted and maintained strategic patents worldwide involving liquified natural gas, unconventional resources, artic, deepwater and oil sands technologies. Lauren earned both of her degrees from the University of Oklahoma - receiving a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering with honors (cum laude) and a Juris Doctorate. Lauren is licensed to practice law in Texas, New York and before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Lauren is involved in a number of professional and civic organizations including serving on the Board of Directors for the Association of Corporate Counsel - Houston Chapter; serving on the University of Oklahoma's Dean's Advisory Board on Diversity; a United Way of Greater Houston Project Blueprint Alumni; a Houston Young Lawyers Association Leadership Academy Alumni; and a member of the Houston (TX) Chapter of the Links, Inc.

Danielle Harris

Darcie Houck

Commissioner Houck is a member of the California Indian Law Association, California Lawyers Association, Schwartz-Levi Inn of Court, Women Lead and the Association of Women in Water, Energy, and Environment. She earned a law degree from the University of California, where she also earned a Master of Science in community development.

Ariane Hunter

Ariane draws on decades of experience working for the top marketing and branding agencies in New York City and supporting high profile clients to become key players in their industry. She holds an MBA and is a certified coach. Ariane was hand selected for NYC's inaugural BE NYC mentoring program for entrepreneurs that was endorsed by Bill De Blasio. She has worked with industry leaders including Women in Stem Leadership at Stony Brook University, Women's Catalyst group at Hewlett Packard, Oracle, and many more. She has spoken for Ladies Get Paid, Jopwell, NYU Stern Women in Business, Advancing Women in Tech, Karen Millen, ABC Home, Emerging Leaders for NY Arts, and has been featured guest on numerous empowerment podcasts. Ariane is also a published writer whose work appears in, Levo League, Ivy Exec, and The Muse. She's been quoted in CNBC, The Daily Worth, Her Agenda, and more.

Stephanie Green

Jenny Heeter

Karo-D'Vera Johnson

She earned her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (Magna Cum Laude) and her Masters in Library Science (Cum Laude) from NCCU. In her free time, Karo enjoys scary and action movie binges, painting, creating rolls of sushi, and fondue. She also enjoys swimming in the nearest body of water, salsa, and line dancing, and enjoying her favorite dish of raw oysters on the half shell at one of her favorite restaurants.

Mariella de Jong

Prior to joining Pattern, Mariella spent over 20 years working in emerging markets energy infrastructure covering a broad range of responsibilities. She has extensive experience in origination, divestitures, business management, restructuring and reorganization. She was member or chairwoman of numerous private and public boards as well as profit and non-profit boards. Throughout her career, Mariella has either successfully executed or been instrumental in the successful execution of over 30 transactions, representing in excess of $7 billion and ranging from greenfield development to mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures, most notably the sale of Prisma Energy to Ashmore Funds, valued at $2.9 billion. In addition, at its peak, Mariella oversaw 17 different energy companies in the emerging markets in both the power and gas sectors, including regulated and unregulated power generation and distribution, gas transportation and distribution, as well as LNG and LPG related businesses. These companies operated under a variety of regulatory environments, including merchant markets and integrated energy systems. Finally, as a member of the management committee of Prisma Energy, Mariella played a leading role in the formation of Prisma Energy and the successful reorganization of the Enron international businesses during and after the bankruptcy, which paved the way for the successful sale referred to above.
Mariella, a native of Perú who came to the US to play varsity tennis in the SEC conference, and her husband, Brent, have five children ages 13 to 26. Mariella is an avid yoga practitioner; she also loves to read, especially about current and past political, social, and economic events that have shaped our world.

Elizabeth Kaiga

Elizabeth serves on the Board of Directors for Women of Renewable Industries & Sustainable Energy (WRISE), a national nonprofit that promotes the education, professional development, and advancement of women in the renewable energy sector. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Solar Sister, an organization that delivers clean energy solutions to off-grid rural communities in Sub-Saharan Africa, by leveraging a network of women entrepreneurs. Elizabeth serves in an advisory capacity to both the Maryland Clean Energy Center (MCEC) and the Education Committee for the Solar Power International Conference. Elizabeth is a strong supporter of diversity, equity & inclusion, and has received recognition in that capacity from the YMCA of Greater New York, the Houston Business Journal, and the U.S. Department of Energy. Elizabeth holds a Master of Arts Degree in Global Marketing from Emerson College.

Antoinette Klatzky
Ann-Louise Lockhart Dr. Lockhart has spoken nationally at schools, conferences, online podcasts, summits, and corporate workshops for topics about ADHD, anxiety, executive functioning, emotional dysregulation, and racism. She has been interviewed and quoted in multiple online and print publications, including ABC News, the New York Times, New York Post, Pure Wow, MSN, Fatherly, Essence, HuffPost, San Antonio Magazine, Veronica Beard, Parents Magazine, and Therapy for Black Girls podcast. She is a Freelance Writer for PBS Kids for Parents, PureWow, and a Contributor for The Gottman Institute and 1N5. Dr. Lockhart also serves as a Board Member for the Verywell Review Board and Dadditude.
LeeAnn Mallorie

Elizabeth Mayo

Ann McCabe

Her prior consulting clients include trade associations and nonprofits, including PJM Clean Energy Advocates and The Climate Registry of states and provinces. She also managed corporate environmental regulatory issues for ten years. Ann is on the advisory board of Grid Forward and the Delta Institute. She has a master's in public policy from the University of Chicago's Harris School and a bachelor's in political science from Williams College.

Brionte McCorkle

Marija Milenkovic

Therese Miranda-Blackney

Thu Nguyen

Paula Orezi

Elizabeth Perez

Neha Palmer

Carol Parker Walsh

Krystal Persuad

Alexandra Rasch

Bree Raum

Alanna Russo

Prior to joining NGV, she was the Manager of National Grid's internal pandemic response in which she managed health services pandemic response process impacting 16,000 employees, analyzed and mitigated risks daily, and worked closely with internal organizations across the US business to follow internal policy and state guidelines. Pre-pandemic, Alanna was the Community Relations Manager for National Grid's downstate New York territory. In this role she used her strong stakeholder management skills and communication skills to interact with external partners and lead National Grid's community giving and community engagement efforts. Before joining National Grid, Alanna worked for the Huntington YMCA where she held various roles which highlighted Alanna's love of community, health and philanthropy. Her last role was Director of Member Engagement and Philanthropy.
Alanna is a community advocate. Alanna has led National Grid's Long Island employee giving campaign for the past 5 years and she sits on the board of the Moonjumpers Charitable Foundation, Huntington YMCA, Project Warmth Committee for the United Way of Long Island, and volunteers with numerous nonprofit organizations such as the Red Cross, Junior Achievement and General Needs.
Alanna holds a BA in Organizational Management and an MBA from St. Joseph's College. She has a certificate in Non-Profit Management from UCLA, a Diversity & Inclusion certification from the American Management Association. She is a Leadership Huntington graduate and is in the 2022 class of Energia.
Alanna is passionate about building relationships, meeting needs of her community by offering effective solutions and rising above challenges to meet the desired outcome.

Dana Clare Redden

Dana holds a Bachelors of Science degree from Drexel University as well as an Executive MBA from IE Business School and Brown University. She is among GRIST Magazine's 50 Fixers, a two-time judge at the DOE/NREL Solar District Cup, and an ACORE Accelerate member. She currently resides in Atlanta, GA where she continues to work at the intersection of climate action, environmental justice, and social entrepreneurship for communities worldwide.

Jan Rippingale

Alissa Jean Schafer

Alissa is also a clean energy educator for Catalyst Miami, a consultant to many elected officials and candidates, and a former Sunshot Initiative coach for the Department of Energy Alissa holds an MS in Communication Science from Grand Valley State University in her home state of Michigan, along with her BA in Communications from Aquinas College. South Florida has been home since 2012, where Alissa is also a mom to one of the coolest toddlers around.

Laura Schelhas

In 2020 she accepted a postion at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and is currently the manager of the Hybrid and Nanoscale Materials Chemistry Group. Her current research interests are focused on the intersection between PV reliability, emerging new technologies, and materials characterization. Laura also serves as the executive director of the DuraMAT consortium, the deputy director of the US-MAP consortium, and deputy director of the PACT center.

Sarah Skinner

Sarah has held several leadership roles, and is the Director of Wind Project Management for AES Clean Energy, leading a high-performing wind construction team for repower and greenfield projects in North America from development through commercial operation. She earned her B.S. in Planning and Development from Arizona State University, and her M.S. in Environmental Policy and Natural Resource Management from University of Denver. Sarah resides at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Littleton, Colorado with her family.

Teran Smith

Kae Takase

Rachael Terada

Diana Weis

Dawn Weisz

She is a founding Board member of the California Community Choice Association and the California Community Power Joint Powers Authority where she continues to serve. She is also on the Board of the California Foundation on Energy and the Environment and the Power Association of California.

Julianne Zimmerman

Julianne earned two SB degrees from MIT (Aero/Astro Engineering and Literature / Humanities), an MS from the University of Maryland (Aeronautical Engineering), an executive certificate from the Presidio Graduate School; and completed CRT Summer School. She served as an EMT in Maryland and in Massachusetts, and was twice a finalist in the NASA astronaut selection process. Julianne is a 2020 Conscious Company World Changing Woman.

Cathy Zoi

Zoi was also the founding CEO of both the Alliance for Climate Protection, established and chaired by U.S. Vice President Al Gore; and the Sustainable Energy Development Authority, a $50m fund to commercialize clean energy technologies in Australia. In the early 1990s, Zoi was Chief of Staff for Environmental Policy in the Clinton White House and she pioneered the Energy Star program while at the U.S. EPA. Zoi was also an adjunct professor and Precourt Energy Scholar at Stanford University, where she taught and did research between 2012 and 2017. Zoi has a B.S. in Geology from Duke University and an M.S. in Engineering from Dartmouth.

View our presenters from the 2021 Forum here >>