2023 DEI Impact Awards - Smart Energy Decisions

2023 DEI Impact Awards




 Smart Energy Decisions (SED) announces the winners of its inaugural DEI Impact Awards that honors efforts in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in clean energy.

“Our goal in launching the DEI Impact Awards is to recognize the accomplishments of diverse groups within the clean energy community,” said Wes Doane, Vice President, Smart Energy Decisions.

Nominations were accepted for DEI projects and industry influencers from commercial, industrial, institutional, and government organizations across seven categories. Winners were selected by a panel of judges representing energy customer peers and industry experts.

2023 DEI Impact Award Winners

  1. Project/Initiative:
    • Boston Medical Center (BMC) Brockton Behavioral Health Center
    • Energy & Global Infrastructure, Google
    • UAB Sustainability, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  2. Mentorship: Marianella Franklin, Chief Sustainability Officer, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
  3. Team:
    • Sustainability Department, New York City Housing Authority
    • Energy Branch, Office of Public Housing Programs, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
  4. Catalyst for Change:
    • Sarah Porter-Liddell, Dean of Equity and Inclusion, Bard College at Simon’s Rock
    • Emily Schapira, President and CEO, Philadelphia Energy Authority
  5. Pay It Forward: Susanna Webber, Senior Vice President, Global Supplier Management Group and Global Workplace Enterprise Services and Chief Procurement Officer, Merck
  6. Partnership:
    • Danielle Decatur, Director of Environmental Justice, Microsoft
    • Waltasia Mansano, Manager, Clean Energy Jobs Program, PSE&G
  7. One to Watch:
    • Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership, The City College of New York

NRG is the exclusive sponsor of the DEI Impact Awards. “We are honored to sponsor Smart Energy Decisions’ DEI Impact Awards and celebrate organizations whose DEI programs and initiatives have had an immeasurable impact,” said Jennifer Brunelle, Vice President of Diversity and Development at NRG. “As a company committed to ensuring that everyone and every voice is valued, we appreciate the opportunity to recognize peers who are equally dedicated to DEI.”

Award winners will be celebrated at SED’s Net Zero Forum Fall on September 20, 2023, at the Hilton Phoenix Tapatio Cliffs Resort in Phoenix, Arizona. They are also invited to participate in the event to make new connections, gain industry insights — and spark further accomplishments.

Energy and sustainability professionals with Net Zero ambitions are encouraged to participate in the event’s educational sessions and 1:1 meetings or reserve a general attendee pass before the August 18 application and Early Bird pricing deadline.


Smart Energy Decisions is proud of our efforts to acknowledge the accomplishments among diverse groups in our community, including our “Inspiring Diversity in Energy” series and our WISE (Women in Smart Energy (WISE) Awards. We want to continue these efforts.

Smart Energy Decisions’ DEI Impact Awards will recognize and celebrate organizations that promote Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) while powering the energy transition. 

The awards will acknowledge company-wide efforts by large power users (commercial, industrial, institutional, and government) to advance DEI, specifically focusing on the impact and amplification of energy and sustainability programs. Achievements will be recognized across all areas of diversity, including race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, persons with disabilities, gender identity, and beliefs.

To honor and celebrate progress, Smart Energy Decisions’ DEI Impact Awards will be presented at Net Zero Forum (NZF) Fall at the Hilton Phoenix Tapatio Cliffs Resort during a special dinner on September 20. The event will also feature a panel discussion on diversity issues with representatives from award-winning companies. 

 Nomination Form FAQ


May 17-June 30: Nominations accepted - NOTE: NOMINATION DEADLINE IS EXTENDED TO JUNE 30
July 10-21: Judging by an independent panel
July 26: Winners notified
September 19-20: Net Zero Forum
September 20: DEI Impact Awards Reception and Dinner


  • Awards will only be presented to energy customers, including commercial, industrial, institutional (higher education, K-12 and healthcare), and government organizations.
  • Executives from the energy/sustainability teams within an organization will be presented with the award. 
  • A Partnership Award may be presented to the energy customer and DEI program partner, including utility, non-profit organizations, associations, or foundations.
  • Please note: industry suppliers are not eligible to win an award, though they can nominate their customers from eligible organizations (commercial, industrial, institutional, and government).
  • While an individual or organization can be nominated in multiple categories, they may only be declared a winner in one category.


  • Nominations may be submitted by any function/department at energy customer organizations (commercial, industrial, institutional, and government), as well as by suppliers, consultants, advisors, utilities, non-profit organizations, associations, and foundations with knowledge of the nominee’s DEI efforts. Individuals or groups at qualifying organizations may nominate themselves, as well as their colleagues or peers at other organizations.
  • Nominations can be submitted in multiple categories. A separate nomination form must be submitted for each category. Please note: a company or person can only win a single award.
  • An individual or organization may only submit up to three separate nominations. 



  • Project/Initiative: Awarded to an organization that has demonstrated a commitment to DEI with a specific project or initiative related to clean energy. This is awarded to an organization.
  • Team: Awarded to a team that has worked to implement DEI in energy/sustainability efforts at their organization. This is awarded to a team or department at an organization. 
  • Mentorship: Awarded to a person who has mentored an individual or group from diverse backgrounds, or to a person who has mentored management on how to introduce and implement DEI principles in an impactful and actionable way to their energy/sustainability department. This may be awarded to an individual or team. 
  • Catalyst for Change: Awarded to a person who has led efforts to change the culture of an organization’s energy/sustainability operations in DEI or cultivated DEI principles within these operations. Examples include someone who has created a strategy or program, or has influenced the application of DEI to improve energy/sustainability functions such as policy changes, hiring, supplier choice, and other strategies. This is awarded to an individual. 
  • Pay it Forward: Awarded to an organization, team or individual for energy/sustainability DEI efforts impacting communities where they serve or are located. Looking outside of your organization, how have your DEI efforts impacted the larger community? For example, have you started a program or initiative that grows community-wide benefits? This may be awarded to an individual, team or organization.  
  • Partnership: Awarded to an organization for DEI strategies or programs in energy/sustainability created and implemented with external partners including utilities, non-profit organizations, associations or foundations.


 If you have any questions, please contact [email protected]


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