Jessica Oakley at 19 months (so, nearly two years old). Already interested in rooftops![/caption]
1. What’s your position with Brightergy? How long have you been working here?
Project Coordinator. Since August 2012.
2. Where are you from / where did you grow up? What’s your background (educational/work)?
I was born in South Dakota, but mostly grew up in northern Virginia. I went to school at Virginia Tech and studied mechanical engineering. I went to work for GM/Delphi Automotive after school. My husband and I moved back down South in 2001 and I went to work for a bearing company. I started my own company in 2003 and became a general contractor to build energy-efficient homes and green building consulting. In 2010, my husband’s company relocated us to KC. When I got here, I became a Certified Energy Manager (CEM) to find a job in the energy management/energy efficiency sector.
3. Why solar? What first got you interested in renewable energy?
I have been interested in energy since high school and studied mechanical engineering. The cheapest form of energy is the energy you don’t use. The next question is, how do you make the energy you do use come from the cleanest, least destructive sources possible?
4. What is something people might not know about your job and/or what you do?
I am the face (or voice really) of Brightergy to the utility companies (KCP&L and Ameren). It’s a delicate balance of pushing them to get information from them without irritating them to the point they start ignoring me.
5. How do you define sustainability?
Closing the loop from cradle to grave without leaving a big footprint.
6. When you’re not working for Brightergy, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Chase my two girls. They are the most fun and hardest work of my life. We love to travel to see family and play outside with the neighbors.
Present day Jessica Oakley with one of her daughters as a baby.[/caption]
7. What’s something your coworkers don’t know about you?
I have Celiac Disease (although most people in KC are aware by now).
8. Which living person do you most admire?
My mother. She’s the kindest, gentlest, most respectful person I know.
Did you miss last week’s BrighterFaces post? Meet Jason Mendenhall.