Workforce Part 3: Diversity in Hiring–Practical case studies by non-profits and organizations

Original webinar date was November 11, 2021

This 60-minute webinar discussed ideas in how to build a diverse clean energy ecosystem and workforce. This session covered the importance of mentoring and championing girls, women, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in energy fields through education, internships, job and career pathways. Experts shared different ways businesses can both support and tap into programs to recruit their future workforce. Example programs that are targeting underrepresented communities include the ‘She’s in Power’ initiative, Grid Alternatives, Solar Energy International, and other organizations.  Attendees will come away with ideas they can explore for the future including organizations they can contact.

Cost is free:   If you haven’t registered, please click here to register.

Click here to watch re-posted webinar video

Moderator:  Rickey Frierson, Director of Diversity, College of Natural Resources, Colorado State University


  • Wanda Lee-Stevens, Talent and Acquisition Director, GRID Alternatives
  • Kathy Swartz, Executive Director, Solar Energy International (SEI)
  • Maury Dobbie, Executive Director, Colorado Energy Research Collaboratory  Maury Dobbie PPT slide deck 

********************************************Speaker Bios******************************************************

Dr. Rickey Frierson has spent the last 15 years presenting internationally and domestically on issues of social justice, diversity and inclusion, and underrepresented student success within higher education. Dr. Frierson’s research interest focuses on institutional accountability and effectiveness in minority success and completion at predominantly white, public institutions.  Rickey takes pride in assisting administrators, educators and institutions in examining proactive strategies to create efficient and fruitful educational experiences for their diverse students, staff, and faculty. Rickey has published articles, submitted book reviews, and has written book contributions that all stem around efficiencies of education.



Wanda Lee-Stevens
DEI Talent & Acquisition Director
GRID Alternatives

Wanda is currently the DEI Talent & Acquisition Director at GRID Alternatives, the nation’s largest nonprofit solar installer, serving families throughout California, Colorado, the Mid-Atlantic region, tribal communities nationwide and international locations.  GRID’s Vision: a transition to clean renewable energy that includes everyone.  Wanda’s HR career includes 15+ years of HR Management, Recruiting, and Training through a DEIB lens and with a bit of fun. She has served in many functions of HR within various industries (renewables, IT, biotech, healthcare, publishing and finance) and with startup and growth organizations to multinational corporations including organizations like: (Solar Mosaic, Sungevity, Kaiser Permanente, Zonare Medical Systems, Sun Microsystems and Ajilon Services Inc.). Wanda’s specialty is her ability to quickly diagnose teams, workflows and processes, and quickly build synergy to create opportunities and efficiencies that enhance and align with the overall vision of the organization. As a Certified Facilitator in Mediation and Productivity, under the umbrella of HR, Wanda has trained and facilitated on productivity, performance management, professional development and in recent years, diversity and inclusion.   Additionally, as an author she has performed as a public speaker and social activist workshop facilitator, fundraising and “consciousness-raising” on the subjects of race and race relations, continuously learning, teaching and examining our American behaviors.  Wanda is a graduate of the University of San Francisco, with a B.S. in Organizational Behavior, and is a resident of northern California.

Kathy Swartz
Executive Director
Solar Energy International (SEI)

Kathy Swartz is honored to serve as SEI’s Executive Director, especially since she is one of over 80,000 alumni of SEI. She took her first PV class in 2004, which was a women’s only training, and it kickstarted her career in solar. With a background in education, Kathy’s goal is to ensure that SEI’s Training Program prepares participants with the knowledge and hands-on experiences needed to safely and successfully work with renewable energy systems. Under Kathy’s leadership, SEI developed training programs to serve Latin America and the Middle East, and spun off SEI Engineering and Professional Services, which provides consulting and engineering services to advance the PV industry.  Kathy took over the organization after co-founder Johnny Weiss retired from SEI in 2012, and has been recognized as an Action Hero through the Interstate Renewable Energy Council and through the Clean Energy Education & Empowerment (C3E) Initiative.  Personally and professionally, she lives her life dedicated to SEI’s vision of a world powered by renewable energy.

Maury Dobbie
Executive Director
Colorado Energy Research Collaboratory

Maury Dobbie is the Executive Director of the Colorado Energy Research Collaboratory.  Since 2007, the Colorado Energy Research Collaboratory has been a successful energy research partnership between Colorado School of Mines, University of Colorado-Boulder, Colorado State University, and National Renewable Energy Laboratory.  She also splits her time as the External Relations Director for the Energy Institute at Colorado State University.  Maury has headed up the annual 21st Century Energy Transition Symposium event since 2011 which is co-hosted by the four Collaboratory entities.  She was the former Assistant Director at the Center for the New Energy Economy founded by former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter.  Maury began her entrepreneurial career at age 19 founding and operating six diverse companies, holding CEO or principal positions. Before joining CNEE, she was president/CEO of a regional not-for-profit economic development corporation in northern Colorado. In 1994, Maury founded a video production company and expanded it rapidly into an award-winning multimedia enterprise, with a web-development department and live event services. Dobbie served as a board member on the Northern Colorado Clean Energy Cluster (CCEC) and has been a part of Colorado’s new energy economy initiative since 2006. Maury is currently the chair of the board for the CCEC non-profit which includes the Colorado C3E initiative focused on driving revolutionary growth of the clean energy economy by educating, mentoring and empowering women and girls.  She worked with industry partners to create Colorado State University’s Systems Engineering Program and the Clean Tech Certification Program at Front Range Community College. She served the state of Colorado as a Governor-appointee on the board of the Colorado Community College System made up of 13 colleges in 38 different locations in the state of Colorado, serving some of those eight years as chair of the board.  Maury was named Top Women in Energy 2020, and over the years has received the national award as Top Woman in Business by Office Depot, as well Women of Influence by Small Business Administration.

During the Nov 11, 2020 webinar, Maury shared the case study around the “She’s in Power” initiative:

Colorado C3E:
She’s in Power Program Manager: Diane Ernst     Click here to learn more about Diane!
Colorado Clean Energy Cluster non-profit board chair: Maury Dobbie

U.S. C3E Women in Clean Energy Symposium:    Dec 8-9, 2020  /   Free of charge  /