FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Tim Frisbie, 312-251-9913
January 15, 2014
MEEA Recognizes Former Executive Directors with 2014 Chairman’s Award for Leadership in Promoting Energy Efficiency
CHICAGO – The Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) today recognized its three former executive directors – Alecia Ward, Wendy Jaehn and Jay Wrobel – with the organization’s 2014 Chairman’s Award. Bestowed each year at the Midwest Energy Solutions Conference, the Chairman’s Award is given to an organization or individual exhibiting outstanding commitment to the advancement of MEEA initiatives and energy efficiency in the Midwest.
“MEEA is unique in the way it balances the diverse interests of its members and network, across the public and private sectors, to create a common ground on energy efficiency,” said MEEA Board Chairman Tim Melloch, ComEd director of energy efficiency services. “MEEA’s structure and success is largely thanks to the vision of its first three executive directors. We are very proud to recognize three of our own – Alecia, Wendy and Jay – with this year’s Chairman’s Award.”
Since its founding, MEEA has grown to more than 150 members, increased annual revenues to more than $5 million and designed and implemented more than 50 successful programs and policy initiatives.
According to Melloch, each of MEEA’s three executive directors played a distinct role in that success:
As the founding executive director of MEEA, Ward worked tirelessly beginning in 1999 to develop a regional energy efficiency organization in the Midwest. She oversaw MEEA’s formal incorporation in 2000 and started running “Change A Light” and refrigerator recycling programs in 2002. Ward also led the creation of the Midwest Energy Solutions Conference and the Inspiring Efficiency Awards and was the face for energy efficiency advocacy in state capitols across the Midwest. When she left MEEA in 2008, the organization had grown to more than 70 members and 12 employees.
Jaehn was MEEA’s first program associate, working closely with MEEA’s executive director to create and expand efficiency programs throughout the region. She later expanded her role to become the deputy director, then president and CEO from 2008 through 2010. Jaehn worked behind the scenes to create MEEAs infrastructure and solid financial platform and ensure a strong strategic plan. During Jaehn’s leadership membership expanded to more than 100 organizations, the footprint grew to mirror the Midwestern Governor’s Association, and MEEA was active with program and policy work in nine states.
Wrobel joined MEEA as a program manager in 2006 and served as a leader in identifying new technologies and developing new programs. He became MEEA’s program director in 2007 and was named executive director in 2010. Under Wrobel’s leadership, MEEA’s membership grew to 150 organizations, the staff increased to nearly 30 team members and the Midwest Energy Solutions Conference became one of the largest energy efficiency events in the country. While at MEEA, Wrobel was responsible for creating the Participating Energy Efficiency Contractors network, HVAC Saves and the Midwest Industrial Initiative.
About Midwest Energy Solutions Conference
The Midwest Energy Solutions Conference is the largest event of its kind in the region. Each year it brings together a broad range of private- and public-sector thought leaders from around the nation who share a vested interest in energy efficiency. Now in its 12th year, the conference continues to grow as energy efficiency investment increases in states across the Midwest.
The conference is presented by the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA), the region’s source on energy efficiency. Formed in 2000, MEEA is committed to advancing sound energy efficiency programs, policies and priorities in the Midwest. MEEA’s membership represents a broad consortium of energy stakeholders from across a 13-state area.