Erin PeroneExternal Mentoring ChairHBK Engineering, LLCErin Perone is the Senior HR Manager for HBK Engineering, a Quanta Services company. In her role, she leads HR strategy and support for the organization and all subsidiaries. Through the almost 10 years in the energy industry, she has helped HBK adapt and grow as the company went through tremendous growth and acquisition. During her time in the energy industry, she has participated in WEN events since it’s inception and became a member of the board in 2021. Erin is also on the board of HBK’s women’s employee resource group, Strive and has served as a volunteer for iMentor in the greater Chicago area.
Jean GibsonProfessional Development ChairPeoples Gas - Chicago SponsorJean Gibson is an innovative energy industry professional and a strategic leader serving as Manager of Energy Efficiency Programs for Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas. Jean oversees and provides direction for the business programs serving commercial, industrial, small business, and public sector customers. Jean also leads energy-efficiency research & development and market transformation initiatives to find meaningful, forward-thinking, cost-effective options for residential and business customers. Jean brings her blended energy experience to engage strategic stakeholders and partners including large account customers, Illinois utility peers, customer advocates, industry associations, and state regulatory agencies.
Previously, Jean served at the Illinois Commerce Commission as Deputy Executive Director for Policy and, prior to that, Director of the Office of Retail Market Development. Jean has more than a decade of professional marketing experience with a focus on utility-sponsored energy efficiency programs. Aligning her passion for women supporting women in growth, leadership, and advancement, Jean serves as a Co-Chair of Professional Development for WEN Chicago. She holds a B.S. from Indiana University, Kelley School of Business.
Madeleine TurkProfessional Development ChairBurns and McDonnell - ChicagoMadeleine Turk is a Pipeline Engineer at Burns & McDonnell primarily focused on the design of transmission natural gas pipelines for utility clients. In this role, Madeleine utilizes both her design and field engineering experience to produce constructible pipeline designs within a specified schedule and budget. Madeleine also mentors the assistant level engineers in the Pipeline Group and helps to lead training initiatives for the group. Outside of the Pipeline Group Madeleine is one of the BMcD Professional Women’s Exchange (PWE) leads and a co-founder and lead of BMcD’s Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) group. She is also heavily involved in Burns & McDonnell’s Company Charity of Choice (CCC) program each year. Madeleine has her Professional Engineering License in the State of Illinois and has a Bachelor of Science from University of Illinois in Civil Engineering. Madeleine is excited to be a part of WEN and looks forward to planning Professional Development Events for the group in the future.
Ellen BestSignature Event 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.
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.
Tina MarquezInternal Mentoring ChairSystem Operations-Transmission -Superintendent, Nicor GasFor the last 29 years, Tina Marquez has held a variety of positions at Nicor Gas Company. Starting out as a Union employee, Tina held different Union positions which allowed her to grow within the company and learn the culture within a male dominant industry. Now, as the current System Operations-Transmission Superintendent, she is responsible for the Northern Region Transmission Pipelines and Stations. She is a member of several ERG’s (Employee Resource Groups) at Nicor. She is a committee member of Special Events/Women's Build Habitat for Humanity-DuPage County which empowers women within the company and within her community.
Karen BurchardtChairManager, Environmental Engineering, Mostardi PlattI am an environmental engineer with two decades of consulting experience working on and managing projects involving air and water quality regulations, legislation and control technologies. I draw on deep knowledge and experience across multiple industries and multiple pollutants to provide reliable, timely and creative solutions for my clients that meet their objectives on time and within budget. Client service is a strength of mine, as are technical writing and public speaking, for which I have been recognized often.
My career spans both the regulatory and design aspects of air and water quality and compliance. I have helped clients evaluate a wide range of compliance scenarios, examine the potential costs and feasibility of solutions, and meet or maintain the compliance that lets them focus on their core objectives.
From keeping up with federal and state environmental regulations and permitting requirements to vendor engagement and contract management, I am a dependable partner, working seamlessly with my clients to make them successful.