Kathleen GreccoExternal Mentoring ChairSection Manager, Burns & McDonnell - Chicago SponsorKathleen Grecco has worked in the natural gas industry for 7 years as a pipeline engineer, assisting public utilities across the United States. She began her career in the distribution sector, coordinating services on public improvement projects, and now manages transmission pipeline and facility design projects. In addition to her progressive technical background and public awareness, Kathleen promotes STEM awareness initiatives with Burns & McDonnell’s partners, including CPS’ Genevieve Melody STEM School, and sits on the board for her company’s Professional Women’s Exchange. Kathleen is excited to be part of the WEN Mentorship Committee, and looks forward to engaging with future professionals at many universities in 2019.
Anne ZehrCommunity Initiatives ChairWhitt Sturtevant - Chicago SponsorAnne Zehr is a Partner at Whitt Sturtevant, a veteran-owned Midwest regulatory litigation firm that supports the energy and public utility industries. For a decade, Anne has represented investor-owned gas, electric, and water/sewer providers before the Illinois Commerce Commission and Appellate Courts, securing for her clients regulatory and judicial approvals in, to date, approximately twenty rate cases and numerous infrastructure construction, eminent domain, rider, financing, management audit, and rulemaking proceedings.
Anne passionately promotes women’s initiatives in the energy industry. She currently serves as Chair of Community Initiatives on the Chicago Women’s Energy Network’s Board of Directors, where she encourages industry professionals to energize their community through volunteerism. Anne previously served as Director of Community Initiatives and Chair of External Mentoring on the Board. She has also supported the annual Chicago Women’s Energy Summit as both a Planning Committee member and panel moderator.
Anne is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Ohio. She earned her law degree from The Ohio State University and undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Psychology from Miami University (Oxford).
Anne is unduly competitive at ping pong and pub games.
Kim NelsonSignature Event ChairVice President of Operations, MZI Group Inc. - Chicago SponsorKim has worked for MZI Group, Inc. since 2008 and has always admired what a family-driven business it is. Her experience comes from the transportation industry. She graduated from Northern Illinois University with a degree in Organizational Corporate Communications. As the Vice President of Operations at MZI, Kim oversees the day-to-day operations and manages financial responsibilities.In her free time, Kim volunteers with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and is a member of Women Energy Network. She is married with two children and enjoys golf whenever she can fit it in her busy schedule. Kim’s counts the parks and local restaurants as her favorite part of Chicago.
Alison MillerickInternal Mentoring ChairManager of Gas Control, Peoples Gas - Chicago SponsorAlison Millerick is a Manager of Gas Control for WEC Energy Group. She is responsible for the control room operations for The Peoples Gas Light and Coke Company and North Shore Gas Company in Illinois, Michigan Gas Utilities and Minnesota Energy Resources. Alison has worked in the natural gas utility industry for 20 years and has held positions in engineering, project management and regulatory support in Environmental Affairs and Gas Supply. Alison was instrumental in creating and currently chairs the Illinois chapter of the WEC Energy Group’s Women’s Development Network.
Alison earned a bachelor’s degree in General Engineering from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana and a master’s degree in Environmental Management from the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Ellen BestSponsorship Engagement ChairEire Direct Marketing, LLC - Chicago SponsorAs the CEO and Managing Partner for Eire Direct, Ellen is responsible for nurturing relationships with existing clients, new business development, and agency performance. She is a strategic marketer with over 30 years of experience with companies in the fields of energy, financial services, retail and professional associations. Recognized for her expertise in strategic planning, research insights, marketing communications planning and analytics, Ellen has operated her agency since 1997. She is proud that Eire is a WBENC-certified diversity supplier/woman-owned business.
Prior to beginning her entrepreneurial adventure, Ellen received top-quality training in direct and data-driven marketing at a global agency, Wunderman Worldwide. Recognizing that servicing clients with a hands-on approach was her passion, she began the next phase of her career and continues to explore new ways to market in the innovative, digital marketplace in which we all work and live. “Marketing success is driven not only by the marketplace’s perception and demands, but through collaboration to deliver meaningful programs to customers so they can personally receive value.” Ellen’s client relationships include the American Dental Association, BP, ComEd, Discover Financial Services, FleetCor Technologies, Mizuho and The Morton Arboretum. Most recently, her strategic consultation and marketing communications in the utility sector make her expertise applicable for regulated industry business, particularly in energy. Ellen serves on the Executive Committee for the Board of Trustees at The Catherine Cook School and is the Committee Chair for Member Retention at the Women’s Energy Network.
Kirsten HigginsSocial ChairBritish Petroleum (BP)Kirsten Higgins is a Commodity & Market Risk Team Lead for BP Global Oil Americas, Integrated Supply & Trading. She joined BP in 2014 and has held various positions within the trading organization across Finance and IT. In her current role, Kirsten is responsible for ensuring timely and accurate trading deal valuation, exposure, and resulting daily profit and loss. She holds a BBA in Information Technology Management from the University of Notre Dame with a minor in Energy Studies. When she’s not on the trade floor, Kirsten can be found playing tennis, trying new recipes, or reading a book (probably a mystery!).