Charging Up: Women’s climatetech career moves at 8minute, DNV, Voltus, Copia, Motor and more

Electriq Power follows up a successful fundraising round by adding five women to its senior leadership team.

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Canary Media’s Charging Up column chronicles women’s career advancements in the cleantech sector. Please send us feedback and tips at [email protected]​canarymedia.​com.

Career moves

Katie Heath is now a principal at the recently formed Copia Power, a Carlyle portfolio company. Copia is focused on developing, owning and operating large-scale renewable energy generation, having already acquired a 6‑gigawatt solar and storage development pipeline in the U.S. from Tenaska. Carlyle intends to deploy up to $700 million in capital and arrange over $6 billion in project finance through Copia, according to a release. Heath was previously vice president of strategic development at AES Clean Energy.

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Kristin Nutter and Melissa Wang joined Motor as directors of marketing and product development, respectively. Nutter brings marketing experience with automotive brands including Audi and Mercedes-Benz. Wang was most recently at CleanChoice Energy. Incubated out of AES, Motor aims to accelerate EV consumer adoption by engaging customers through their utilities and offering access to shared or individual EV ownership. 

8minute Solar Energy hired Jennifer Arasimowicz as general counsel to lead the company’s legal and HR team, and oversee compliance and environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) initiatives. Prior to joining 8minute, Arasimowicz served as FuelCell Energy’s executive VP, general counsel, chief administrative officer and corporate secretary. Previously, Arasimowicz also served as general counsel for Total Energy.

Marion Hill was promoted to senior VP of renewables and power grids for North America at DNV, a risk management and assurance consultancy. Hill is also on the board of midsize wind turbine firm Eocycle.

Maria Virginia Olano, previously with Climate XChange, is now an editorial and research associate at Canary Media.

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Bonnie Gurry has joined with Elizabeth Landau to launch GreenPortfolio, a climate fintech startup that offers consumers a way to invest in climate solutions by recommending financial products focused on renewable energy. Gurry was most recently the research director at Pirque Ventures. Landau was most recently with Njoy. 

Diana Nielsen was promoted to strategic sales director at Voltus. Darlene Pelayo, previously with Tesla, is now senior director of inside sales at Voltus. Voltus connects distributed energy resources to wholesale electricity markets in the U.S. and Canada.

Heidi Lim was recently promoted to director of product ecosystem at Twelve (formerly Opus 12). The company claims its technology combines a new class of CO2-reducing catalysts with a novel device that splits CO2 with just water and renewable electricity as inputs,” an innovation that could reduce emissions by turning CO2 into needed products. Lim wrote last year about her experiences entering the climatetech space in a Medium post entitled Chasing a Job With Purpose.”

Electriq Power, a maker of residential battery systems and energy monitoring software, just added five women to its senior management team. These hires come on the heels of the company raising over $10 million in a funding round last month. 

  • Ozlem Fonda is now VP of people and culture at Electriq. Fonda was previously senior HR manager at Raytheon Technologies. 
  • Kimberly Fry is now chief product officer. Fry previously served as VP of innovation and business systems at Gilbarco Veeder-Root. 
  • Maria Ravn Huusom is now senior VP of operations. Huusom comes to Electriq from Vestas, the largest wind turbine company in the world. 
  • Petrina Thomson is now chief accounting officer. Thomson was previously VP and chief accounting officer at IT services company Curvature. 
  • Michele Tihami, chief revenue officer, joins Electriq from DNV, a global assurance and risk management firm. 

Emily Grubert is now deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management at the U.S. Department of Energy. Grubert is an interdisciplinary social scientist and engineer focused on water, energy and communities.

Board moves

Women hold only 24.4 percent of board seats at major listed corporations as of March 2021, according to 50/50 Women on Boards. We’re tracking changes at climatetech boards to see which companies are adding women.

Blink Charging, an operator and provider of EV charging equipment and services, added Carmen Perez-Carlton to its board of directors. Perez-Carlton has held leadership positions at FPL FiberNet and Florida Power & Light. She also serves on the board of directors at Uniti Group, a real estate investment trust. Blink has deployed over 30,000 charging ports across 13 countries.

First Solar a solar manufacturer headquartered in Arizona, appointed Anita Marangoly George, an executive with decades of global experience in institutional finance and infrastructure investing, to its board of directors. She served as executive VP and deputy head of Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec’s global investment arm, CDPQ Global. Last month, First Solar said it would spend $700 million to expand its solar manufacturing footprint in Ohio, giving the Biden administration a win in its bid to have more clean energy hardware built in the U.S. and adding more than 3 gigawatts of capacity to First Solar’s existing plants in the state. First Solar also announced that it intends to invest $684 million in a new solar module manufacturing facility in India. 

Lisa Frantzis is now on the board of directors of startup LineVision. LineVision’s dynamic line rating technology discovers and uses spare transmission capacity on existing power lines.

Augusta Savage, born the seventh of 14 children in Florida in 1892, won a scholarship to Cooper Union in New York City in 1921. Savage lived and worked in Harlem as a sculptor, creating busts of Black luminaries such as W.E.B. Du Bois and Marcus Garvey.

Augusta Savage with her sculpture Realization, ca. 1938. Photo by Andrew Herman, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Augusta Savage with her sculpture Realization, ca. 1938. Photo by Andrew Herman, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Eric Wesoff is the managing editor of Canary Media. He's a prominent industry journalist, analyst, writer, consultant, speaker and expert witness in the renewable energy field.