Paula R. Glover is President and CEO for the American Association of Blacks in Energy, a non-profit professional association whose focus is to ensure that African Americans and other minorities have input into the discussions and development of energy policy, regulations, and environmental issues. In this role, she is responsible for managing the national office, and provides strategic direction and leadership for the organization.
Prior to her current role, Ms. Glover served as the association’s Vice President of Operations and also served as the organization’s Director of Communications. Ms. Glover’s experiences include 15 years in the energy industry for both electric and natural gas distribution companies. During that time she has built a stellar reputation working with state legislators and regulators in her roles as Manager of Government and Regulatory Affairs. Ms. Glover commands a clear understanding of the consumer and community sides of the business as well having held industry positions in Community Outreach and Economic Development.
Ms. Glover is a seasoned non Profit professional. Prior to her position at the AABE, Ms. Glover was the Community Awareness Director for the Regional YMCA of Western Connecticut where she was responsible for the organizations’ marketing, communications, community and government relations and public relations functions.
In March 2014 Ms. Glover was appointed to the National Petroleum Council by U.S. Secretary of Energy, Dr. Ernest Moniz. Ms. Glover received her B.S. in Marketing Management from the University of Delaware. She is the recipient of the Bring it Home to Hartford Award; the Clarke Watson Chairman’s Cup; the Award of Distinction by the Videographer Awards and the Platinum Achievement Award from the Cooperative Developmental Energy Program at Fort Valley State University. She is a 2003 graduate of Leadership New Haven and has contributed to an article on work life balance in Take Pride magazine.
Rose McKinney-James is the Managing Principal of Energy Works LLC and McKinney-James & Associates. The firms provide business-consulting services and advocacy in the areas of government and public affairs, economic development and public policy related to energy policy, education, and the environment. Prior to establishing her own firm, she served as a Commissioner with the Nevada Public Service commission and Director of the Nevada Department of Business and Industry.
After leaving government service, she entered the private sector as President of Brown & Partners, President of Government Affairs for Faiss Foley Merica, and President and CEO of the Corporation for Solar Technology and Renewable Resources (CSTRR). In her current capacity, she provides real time consulting and strategic planning guidance to businesses engaged in energy intensive endeavors. A registered lobbyist with the Nevada Legislature, Rose currently represents a range of public and private entities with interests in regulatory and energy policy.
Rose serves as a member of the Board of Directors of MGM Resorts International, MGM Detroit, and Toyota Financial Savings Bank. In addition, Ms. James serves as a member of the Board of Directors of The American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE), the Alliance to Save Energy and the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE). Rose is currently the Board Chair for the Clean Energy Project and Nevada Partners a nationally recognized workforce development agency. She is a former member of the Board of the Energy Foundation and VOTE Solar.
Rose was a candidate for Lieutenant Governor the first African-American to win a statewide primary in the state of Nevada. Ms. McKinney-James served as a member of the Obama-Biden Transition Team with responsibility for the US Department of Energy and the Team Lead for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). She is a graduate of Leadership Las Vegas and the FBI Citizens Academy and served as a Nevada Elector for the 2012 Presidential Electoral College.
A native of Detroit, Michigan, she is a graduate of Antioch School of Law in Washington D.C., and secured her undergraduate degree from Olivet College in Olivet, Michigan. Ms. McKinney-James is married to Frederick James and the mother of two sons.
LaQuisha M. Parks is an experienced leader in the energy industry. She is currently the Manager of Customer Care Operations, Duke Energy Carolina. In this role, she provides operational direction and leadership to Customer Care Teams and collaborates with key internal stakeholders to ensure a high level of customer care is achieved; financial and operational goals are met; and compliance with state regulatory policies and guidelines. She is responsible for leading 7 supervisors and 200-350 customer care specialists in a dynamic contact center environment for electric utility customers. This position provides directional oversight for multiple contact types (email, facsimile, phone calls and web support) and includes 911 emergency life-threatening calls, outage calls, new construction requests and service inquires for residential, commercial and governmental customers across multiple jurisdictions.
She has held a number of leadership roles in operations and corporate to include Metering, Distribution, Regional Operations, Nuclear Supply Chain, Nuclear Generation, Financial Services, Change Management and Grid Solutions.
Her civic responsibilities include: Vance County Board of Directors for the Chamber of Commerce; American Association of Blacks in Energy Marketing and Advertising Committee (National); American Association of Blacks in Energy LIPP Committee (National); Vice President and President, American Association of Blacks in Energy (NC Chapter); Southeast Regional Director, American Association of Blacks in Energy; Leadership Energy Carolinas Cluster; Women in Nuclear (National); Teach for America Corporate Representative; and the North Carolina A&T State University Alumnae Association. LaQuisha is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated; and serves as Chaplain for Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated.
LaQuisha has been an active member of AABE for 16 years.
John S. Watson is chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Chevron Corporation, a position he has held since 2010. Previously Watson served as vice chairman of the board from 2009 to 2010 and was responsible for business development; mergers and acquisitions; strategic planning; corporate compliance; policy, government and public affairs; procurement; and the Project Resources Company.
In 2008, he was elected executive vice president for strategy and development. In 2005, Watson was elected president of Chevron International Exploration and Production Company. In 2000, he led the company's integration effort following the Chevron-Texaco merger and then became the corporation's chief financial officer. In 1998, he was elected a vice president of the corporation, with responsibility for strategic planning and mergers and acquisitions. Prior to being elected president of Chevron Canada Limited in 1996, he held financial, analytical and supervisory positions.
Watson is a member of the board of directors and the executive committee of the American Petroleum Institute. He is a member of the National Petroleum Council, The Business Council, the Business Roundtable, the J.P. Morgan International Council, the American Society of Corporate Executives and the University of California Davis Chancellor's Board of Advisors.
Watson was born in 1956 in California. He began his career in 1980 when he joined Chevron as a financial analyst. He earned a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics from the University of California at Davis in 1978 and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Chicago in 1980.
Rick Thigpen has been the Vice President of State Governmental Affairs, for the Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) Services Corporation since March, 2007. An attorney who has been involved in New Jersey politics and government for over 20 years, Rick has extensive experience developing political strategies, mobilizing grassroots constituencies, and making public policy at different levels of government. His experience moving public policy agendas forward, as well as negotiating complicated legal and political issues, have prepared him to craft and implement successful strategies in the public arena.
Rick has been a public affairs consultant since 1999, and was a co-founding partner of 1868 Public Affairs, LLC – a Trenton-based consulting group which provides lobbying, strategic planning, and public and government relations services to clients in New Jersey, New York, and Washington, DC.
Previously, Mr. Thigpen served as an associate at the New York law firm, Thacher Proffitt & Wood in the mortgage-backed securities practice group, and was the District Director for Congressman Donald Payne in the early nineties. Mr. Thigpen was also the Executive Director of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee, where he coordinated two successful statewide campaigns for both national and state candidates.
Mr. Thigpen holds a Doctor of Law degree from Columbia University School of Law in New York, and is a graduate of Brown University in Rhode Island.
Gilbert Campbell is one of the co-founders and principals of Volt Energy. Volt Energy is a national renewable energy firm that finances and develops solar projects, electric-vehicle charging stations and energy storage solutions for commercial, government, educational and non-profit institutions.
Gilbert’s passion is driving inclusion in the clean energy sector by providing STEM education and outreach opportunities for young people across the country. Gilbert has been nationally recognized for his efforts and is a recent recipient of the White House Champions of Change Award for his leadership in climate change equity.
Gilbert was named to EBONY magazine's 2014 Power 100 List, which recognizes influential achievements by African-Americans annually. Under Gilbert’s leadership, Volt is a 2014 recipient of Amtrak and The Washington Wizards Pioneer Award, which honors companies that have made a positive impact in their community.
Volt Energy’s notable clients include The Cheesecake Factory, Subaru, Pepco, District of Columbia Government, Howard University, and Wake Forest University. Gilbert graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.B.A in Finance from Howard University and has done post-graduate leadership training at Harvard University.
Born and raised in the Mississippi Delta during the era of legal segregation, young Clifton Taulbert would often sit on his Great-Grandfather’s front steps and looks as far as he could see. All he could see were the Cotton Fields of Greenfield. He thought he had seen all of his world. Little did he know that beyond the Cotton Fields of the Delta were dreams to be realized, vistas yet to see and possibilities to imagine.
Decades later, Taulbert, now a Pulitzer-nominated author, with fourteen books to his credit, would find himself in the Black Forest of Germany lecturing in the hunting lodge built for the German Fuhrer, Adolph Hitler. Taulbert has lectured around the Globe on the timeless and universal values that build and sustain community worldwide based upon his groundbreaking first book, Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored which became a “Two Thumbs Up” major motion picture and Eight Habits of the Heart. Eight Habits of the Heart –the transforming power of ordinary people—was read by former Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O’Connor and resulted in an invitation to Taulbert to address members of the Supreme Court and their guests. Most recently, Taulbert’s latest memoir, The Invitation was chosen by FOREWORDS REVIEWS as one of the top five memoirs of 2014. Again Taulbert’s unique style of writing and storytelling takes his readers on his journey where the “Old South” and the “21st Century” crossed paths for five years. Taulbert, the Great-Great-Grandson of slaves and the aging Mistress of Roselawn, a South Carolina plantation, left America with a clear example of what is possible when we dare to embrace our common and shared humanity.
As a recognized ENTREPRENEUR, Taulbert was on the team that brought Stairmaster Exercise System to market and shares internationally, from Australia to the Assembly Hall of the United Nations on how the entrepreneurial mindset can accelerate your imagination to what is possible in spite of challenging circumstances that seem fixated on aborting promising dreams. As the President of two companies, Roots Java Coffee and Freemount Corporation-a Human Capital Consulting company that has brought Taulbert to the lecture halls of Harvard, the United States Air Force Academy, Keynote speaker for the Defense Leadership Summit in Southbridge, Massachusetts, and within the corridors of America’s top Fortune 500 Companies—Taulbert applies his early life lessons learned from the “Porch People” of the Delta to all that he does.
Taulbert was educated in the public schools of the Mississippi Delta where he graduated high school as valedictorian. Taulbert served his country as a member of the United States Air Force in the 89th Presidential Wing and has been inducted in the Enlisted Airmen Hall of Fame. His college journey included the University of Maine, University of Maryland and finishing at Oral Roberts University. Taulbert, a member of Phi Beta Kappa is also a graduate of the Southwest Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University which laid the foundation for his banking career until he accepted his call to ENTREPRENEURSHIP.
In Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Taulbert and wife, Barbara live, he is actively involved in the life of his community. He serves on the boards of the Salvation Army, the Oklahoma Foundation for Academic Excellence, the University of Tulsa, the Tulsa Historical Society, the Tulsa Library Trust and the Anne Kathryn Taulbert Fund—which supports summer camp outings for young children living with the Sickle Cell Disease. Clifton Taulbert is also a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow. Clifton and Barbara have one son, Marshall Danzy Taulbert, a Los Angeles entrepreneur in the movie and clothing industry.
Donna Cooper is President, Pepco Region. Pepco, a subsidiary of Pepco Holdings, an Exelon Company, provides safe and reliable electric service to more than 845,000 customers in the District of Columbia, Montgomery County and Prince George’s County in Maryland.
Cooper is the primary executive responsible for engaging in stakeholder relations with state and local officials, community leaders, and business, consumer and nonprofit organizations within the Pepco region. In that capacity, she plays a critical role in shaping policy and managing issues to deliver value to our customers and key stakeholders. Cooper also serves as the primary spokesperson for Pepco.
Cooper has been with Pepco for eight years. For three years, she served as region vice president, District of Columbia, responsible for managing relationships with the District of Columbia government, business organizations and community leaders; developing and implementing strategies for legislative and regulatory policy and testifying before the Council of the District of Columbia.
Prior to serving as region vice president, Cooper advanced through a series of positions including senior public affairs manager, Pepco; policy director to the Council of the District of Columbia; clerk/director of the Committee on Government Operations, Council of the District of Columbia; executive director, National Organization of Black County Officials Inc.; and assistant professor, South Carolina State University. She was also an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina and Charleston Southern University.
Cooper earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from South Carolina State University, a master’s degree in public affairs from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and a doctorate of philosophy in political science from Howard University, where she majored in public administration and American government.
Cooper’s organizational affiliations include the Sustainable Energy Utility Advisory Board; WorkSource Montgomery, Inc.; Imagination Stage; Leadership Greater Washington; District of Columbia Chamber of Commerce; Washington, DC Economic Partnership; Greater Prince George’s Business Roundtable; District of Columbia Building Industry Association; District of Columbia Downtown Building Improvement District and the DC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.
Rudolph Wynter is president of FERC Related Businesses at National Grid. He has P&L responsibility for electric transmission, electric generation, liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage in Providence, Rhode Island and gas transmission pipeline investments. Wynter represents the company on the boards of Clean Line Energy Partners and Millennium Pipeline. Prior to his current position, he was senior vice president of US Shared Services.
Wynter has 25 years’ experience in the utility sector. He has held positions of responsibility in customer operations, strategic planning, engineering and operations. He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the American Gas Association (AGA) and the American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE).
National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE:NGG) is an electricity and gas company connecting consumers to energy sources through its networks. In the northeastern United States, National Grid connects more than seven million gas and electric customers to vital energy sources deemed essential for modern living. In fact, National Grid is the largest distributor of natural gas in the northeastern U.S., serving more than 3 million customers in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Wynter earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Pratt Institute, an MBA from Fordham University and completed executive education at Harvard University. He is active in his community, and serves on the Board of Trustees for the Polytechnic Institute of New York University and also on the Board of Directors for the United Way of New York City.
Jim Murren was named Chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International in December 2008. He leads a company of nearly 77,000 employees that operates 17 destination resorts nationally and internationally in Nevada, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, Maryland, and Macau S.A.R., with another in development in Springfield, Massachusetts. Mr. Murren serves as chairman of MGM China Holdings Limited, which owns MGM Macau and in 2017 will open MGM Cotai. He also serves as chairman of MGM Growth Properties, a real estate investment trust.
Mr. Murren joined MGM in 1998 after spending more than a decade on Wall Street, where he was regarded as a leading analyst in the hotel and gaming industries. His arrival at MGM coincided with a period of dramatic growth for the company, including the acquisitions of Mirage Resorts and Mandalay Resort Group. He is the visionary behind CityCenter, the unprecedented urban resort destination that opened on the Las Vegas Strip in 2009 featuring centerpiece ARIA Resort & Casino. CityCenter – a sophisticated mix of resorts, residences, conference facilities, dining and retail -- is among the largest “green” developments globally. Using cutting-edge solutions, CityCenter demonstrates that sustainability enhances the guest experience.
A native of Fairfield, Conn., Mr. Murren graduated from, and is a trustee of, Trinity College, where he majored in Art History and Urban Studies. He serves as Chairman of the American Gaming Association, on the Board of Trustees of the Brookings Institution, and on the National Infrastructure Advisory Council. He is chair of the Leadership Board of the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine. He also is a member of the Board of Trustees for Howard University and a member of the Business Roundtable, an association of CEOs of leading U.S. companies.
A leader in the area of corporate responsibility, he was named a Responsible CEO of the Year by CR Magazine. He is the recipient of the “Distinguished Leader Award” by the University of Massachusetts’ Isenberg School of Management and “Executive of the Year” honor by Casino Journal. Under his leadership, MGM Resorts International was named among FORTUNE® Magazine's World's Most Admired Companies® in 2016. Mr. Murren was also named to the Institutional Investor “2017 All-America Executive Team,” ranking as a Best CEO for Sell-Side.
With his wife, Heather, he is actively involved in assisting wounded warriors and their families through the creation of a Fisher House in southern Nevada.
Dr. Karl W. Reid was named executive director of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) on June 2, 2014, marking his return to the organization that gave him his first major leadership experience, 32 years earlier. For the past 18 years, he has been a leading advocate for increasing college access and opportunity for low-income and minority youth.
Dr. Reid came to NSBE from the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), where he oversaw new program development, research and capacity building for the organization’s 37 historically black colleges and universities and held the title of senior vice president for research, innovation and member college engagement. Before his service at UNCF, he worked in positions of progressive responsibility to increase diversity at his alma mater, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which he left as associate dean of undergraduate education and director of the Office of Minority Education. While working at MIT, Dr. Reid earned his Doctor of Education degree at Harvard University. His dissertation explored the interrelationship of race, identity and academic achievement.
Dr. Reid was born in the Bronx, N.Y., and grew up in Roosevelt, N.Y., a mostly working-class, African-American community on Long Island. The high value his parents placed on education, and his admission to a well-resourced, magnet high school near Roosevelt, put him on a track to follow his older brother to MIT, where he earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees in materials science and engineering and was a Tau Beta Pi Scholar. He credits his membership in the NSBE chapter at MIT with giving a vital boost to his self-confidence and leadership skills. He joined the Society during his freshman year, was elected chapter vice president his junior year and subsequently served as NSBE national chair for 1984–85.
After graduating from MIT, Dr. Reid worked in the computer industry for 12 years, in product management, marketing, sales and consulting. In 1991, five years into a successful career in sales and marketing with IBM Corporation, Dr. Reid read Jonathan Kozol’s “Savage Inequalities,” a seminal book about educational disparities in the U.S., which sparked his passion for bringing about positive change through education of African Americans.
Dr. Reid sits on the DC STEM Council, and holds memberships in the American Association of Engineering Societies, the American Society of Engineering Education, and the American Society of Association Executives. He was recently named a Top 100 Executives in America by Uptown Professional magazine.
Dr. Reid is now supporting NSBE’s National Executive Board and the Society’s 16,000 active members in reaching the main goal of NSBE’s 10-year Strategic Plan: to end the underrepresentation of blacks in engineering in the U.S. by producing 10,000 black engineers per year in the country, by 2025.