June 2012: Women of Wind Energy (WoWE) Honors Leslie Freiman, Jennifer Jenkins, and William Holmes at Annual Luncheon

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Women of Wind Energy (WoWE) Honors Leslie Freiman, Jennifer Jenkins, and William Holmes at Annual Luncheon 

The winners of the Women of Wind Energy (WoWE) Awards, were announced yesterday at the annual luncheon held at AWEA's WINDPOWER 2012 Conference in Atlanta, GA. The awards put the spotlight on professionals at the pinnacle of the industry, as well as, the up-and-coming next generation of leaders. A new third acknowledgement was added this year for someone that has repeatedly encouraged and helped career development in women in wind energy.   All three winners provide examples of achievement, creativity and courage.  

“The influence and impact that WoWE’s Award Winners have had and will continue to have on the renewable energy field and in the advancement of women is truly incredible.  We are all stronger and able to achieve more because of their dedication and spirit,” said Kristen Graf, WoWE Executive Director.  

2012 WoWE Award Winners Champion Award – William Holmes, Partner and immediate past chair of the renewable energy initiative at Stoel Rives, LLP received WoWE’s Champion Award.  This new award seeks to honor an individual who has significantly contributed to the advancement of women in the field of renewable energy, through mentoring and professional development that goes beyond expectations, as well as, advocating for work place practices that support women in a manner that fosters a path forward. Professionally, Bill has demonstrated his leadership at Stoel Rives by spearheading the renewable energy group with a team work approach and negotiating numerous major wind and renewable energy power purchase agreements.  On another level, Bill has impacted those that work with him as well. His motto is to always put people forward. He has intentionally brought women onto work place teams and created opportunities for women at his firm. He accomplished this by being supportive of career advancements by pushing for women associates and partners and making the firm a better place for women to work with flexible scheduling. Colleagues describe him as an “enabler”, “resource”, “supporter” and “key champion in my career.”  Also, Bill has taken an active role in WoWE by supporting the involvement in the WoWE Portland Chapter, not only by encouraging participation but also taking an active role himself and also encouraging the creation of the WoWE Twin Cities Chapter in Minnesota.

2012 WoWE Woman of the Year – Leslie Freiman, General Counsel, Chief Regulatory Officer, and Secretary for EDP Renewables (EDPR) was honored with the Woman of the Year Award.  Each year WoWE seeks out a woman who stands out for her leadership, inspiration, and significant contributions to the expansion and improvement of renewable energy completed at the highest level.  Leslie answers to each of these requirements. She first started in the wind industry in 2004 as a project counsel for Zilkha Renewable Energy and since then has been influential in transitioning a 30-person development team to a 300-person wind energy operator that is EDP Renewables today. While Leslie’s professional accomplishments are numerous, additional highlights include the successful oversight of over 4 billion dollars of tax equity investments and providing advice and legal support at the development, construction and operations phases for 27 of EDPR’s operating projects.  She is also recognized as being one of the driving forces behind EDPR’s company culture by ensuring that decisions are made with the highest ethical standard. Gabriel Alonso, CEO of EDPR, praised Leslie. He said, “She makes sure that what we do impacts those around us in a positive way. This is good not only for EDPR, but for the entire wind industry because her attention to ethics and doing what is right for landowners and communities makes an impact towards the credibility of the industry.” 

2012 WoWE Rising Star – Jennifer Jenkins, Executive Director, Distributed Wind Energy Association (DWEA) was honored with the Rising Star Award.  This award is given to a woman who is relatively new to wind energy and is already making significant professional contributions by demonstrating unusual talent, dedication, and innovation in her renewable energy work. Jennifer was brought on as DWEA’s Executive Director in July 2010, just one month after the association was formed.  In the last two years Jennifer has developed a membership program that includes over 90 members, manages multiple policy committees, implements campaigns focused on annual state policy, and leads efforts for DWEA’s conferences and education outreach.  She accomplished all of this while handling the day-to-day administration of a new association.  In his nomination letter, Brett Pingree, sales manager, Dynapower, said, “Whether she would admit it or not she sells the value of wind every day when she talks to someone new to wind or motivates one of her colleagues, and she does it well. Her current role as Executive Director of DWEA is a perfect summation of her career to date and the value she brings to the industry by leading a new advocacy group to excel in these market conditions, and to do so without hesitation. This is a definition of a star that is rising.”


About Women of Wind Energy:

WoWE was founded in 2005 and works to promote the education, professional development, and advancement of women to achieve a strong diversified workforce and support a robust renewable energy economy.  Since that time, WoWE has grown to an organization with 35 local chapters in the US and Canada, an annual luncheon at WINDPOWER that had over 500 attendees this year, and a growing grassroots network of more than 1,600 women and men.  In 2010, WoWE launched the first-ever WoWE Leadership Forum and will host a third forum in November 2012. The organization is supported through hundreds of volunteer hours and the generous contributions of the American Wind Energy Association, NRG Systems, GE Energy and a large number of other leading wind energy companies, as well as membership contributions. 


For more information, contact:
Kristen Graf, WoWE Executive Director
718.210.3666 or kristen@womenofwindenergy.com