This winter, CEE welcomed Shonda Biddle as our new director of commercial and industrial energy development. Shonda joins CEE with extensive experience in program development, nonprofit management, and energy efficiency implementation. The move aligns with CEE’s commitment to expanding programming and research in commercial and industrial spaces, which present significant potential for widespread energy savings.
For the past 12 years, Shonda focused her career on energy efficiency implementation in Chicago and worked directly with contracting firms and major gas and electric utilities. She briefly left implementation for contract development with intentions to return to commercial and industrial energy efficiency, where she feels her skills can make the greatest impact. CEE seized this opportunity with a leadership position that suited Shonda’s goals and addressed CEE’s longstanding aim to grow in the commercial and industrial sector.
Shonda explains that the major challenge to effective energy efficiency programming in commercial and industrial spaces is to “help clients understand all the concrete benefits.” Too often, energy efficiency can seem like an abstract concept to many users in this sector. Without the right information, data, and support, they may fail to see how making changes in terms of energy efficiency will positively impact their bottom line.
“My goal as CEE’s director of commercial and industrial energy development is to create an information and support pathway for this sector.”
“My goal as CEE’s director of commercial and industrial energy development is to create an information and support pathway for this sector,” Shonda said. “We want clients and prospective clients to recognize CEE as a trusted advisor, with the expertise and relationships to support them to implement profitable energy efficiency strategies backed by data and research.”
Shonda sees CEE as especially well positioned to make those financial points compelling because of our ability to pair implementation and program development with extensive research. That powerful combination — scientific expertise plus practical applications — is what earns CEE a seat at the table when commercial and industrial users make decisions that affect production, purchasing, distribution, and more.
The clean energy workforce is still predominately white and male. But Shonda brings key insights regarding workforce development, and she plans to strengthen and help realize CEE’s goals in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Shonda seeks to bolster CEE’s role in shifting the current demographics with more equitable outreach, training, and hiring practices. In doing so, Shonda explains, “CEE will establish a more diverse candidate pool for clean energy positions, from entry level to top leadership roles” like her own.
We’re thrilled to welcome Shonda to our team and eager to support her far-reaching goals for 2022 and beyond.