Greater Philadelphia Chapter: Energy Insecurity Panel

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Energy Insecurity Panel - "Learn about supporting Energy Insecurity in our community "


Join WENGP to learn from our panel about the organizations working to educate and lift up those in the Philadelphia community that struggle with rising energy bills and finding the support they need.  This will also be a fundraising event donating to PECO’s “Gift of Energy” program to help our low-income families with outstanding bills putting pressure on their already tight budgets.  We are encouraging all attendees to consider an additional donation to this organization and promote within their networks.  Please see this link for instructions on how to contribute:

Date: Thursday December 1st  
Networking and Refreshments: 5-6pm
Panel: 6-7pm

Issa Balde - PECO Energy - Sr. Community Relations Specialist- Community Engagement

Issa has over 15 years of professional experience in customer services, working for two hallmark utilities, Verizon, and PECO Energy. Half of those years has been spent working with Low-to-Moderate-Income (LMI) customers. Issa joined the Corporate & Community Impact department (CCI) at PECO as a Senior Community Relations Specialist early 2022. In this role, Issa is responsible for community outreach efforts to LMI customers and communities. In particular, Issa is responsible for awareness, access, and increased enrollment in PECO’s comprehensive, LMI program portfolio. Prior to her current role, Issa served as the Sr. Business Program Manager for PECO’s Low Income Usage Reduction Program (LIURP). In that capacity, Issa was responsible for managing a budget in excess of $10M that assisted over 10,000 customers annually.   

Nyisha Chapman – Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) – Manager, Community Partnerships

Nyisha Chapman serves as the Manager of Community Partnerships in the Corporate Communications and External Affairs Department for the Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW). PGW is the largest municipally owned gas utility in the nation.

Ms. Chapman is responsible for managing and establishing key stakeholder interface with the community, legislators, and various Philadelphia neighborhood constituencies.  She develops initiatives that promote good will and fosters relationships with community leaders in addition to providing strategic and tactical counsel to PGW executive team and staff. She develops and executes PGW’s long term community outreach and consumer education plans. Ms. Chapman has served as a panelist at many community forums; educating the City of Philadelphia about conservation, weatherization and gas utility products and services.

Ms. Chapman has held various positions at PGW in Customer Operations, Training, and Procedures Development departments. She is experienced in emergency and crisis response, customer service, and credit and collection initiatives.  

She has been recognized by several local and state legislators for her work in the community. She was a recipient of the Community Service award and Women’s History Image Award – for providing education to the community, presented by Senator Vincent Hughes, the recipient of the Next Generation of Leadership: Rising Stars award and Legislative District Image Award for her commitment to Public Service.

Ms. Chapman received her Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Strayer University. She also has received her certification in Training and Development and Project Management from the American Management Association.

As an active member in the community, Ms. Chapman has been involved in numerous projects with Urban Angel Foundation, National Coalition of 100 Black Women-Pennsylvania Chapter, Concerned Parents Network, City of Philadelphia and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Monique Alexander - Utility Emergency Services Fund (UESF) – Director of the Utility Assistance Program

Ms. Alexander joined UESF in July of 2010 and has over 29 years of experience working in the non-profit sector. Prior to joining UESF, Ms. Alexander was employed at Youth Services, Inc.  and the Germantown Earn Center where she was an exemplary employee, receiving awards for outstanding performance. Ms. Alexander assisted the Program Director with the social work staff, with administrative and office duties.

Ms. Alexander performed intakes with adolescent clients in a 30-day shelter and helped center participants in the data department to manage their community outreach hours as well as job retention requirements. Over the last 12 years working at UESF, Ms. Alexander has obtained a wealth of knowledge in Housing Stabilization, Utility Assistance program, and has worked with several departments within UESF, including: The Utility Assistant Program, Benefits Access Center, Philadelphia Works Inc, Office of Homeless Services, Leading various workshops.  Ms. Alexander holds an Associates in Accounting and Business Administration from Pierce College.

Barbara Jean McDuffie - Energy Coordinating Agency (ECA) – Program Coordinator

April 2022-Present- Currently working as Program Coordinator for Community Programs. 
Duties: Coordinates monthly managers meeting, organizes yearly training on ECA’s Scope of Services, monitors NEC’s files for accuracy, assists with ECA’s Energy Directory and community outreach for the 16 Neighborhood Energy Centers (NECs).

1993-2018- Director of Client Services at United Communities in South Philadelphia for 25 years. Also worked as the NEC Manger assisting clients with applying for various utility applications (LIHEAP/CRISIS, CRP, TAP, CAP) to help prevent utility shut offs for income eligible households. She has a strong personal commitment to help constituents with their basic needs around housing and utility stability while assisting families to move toward self-sufficiency.

During her time at United Communities, ECA received funding from PGW to conduct conservation workshops which I developed the standards for how these workshops should be conducted. Better known as “BJ” throughout Philadelphia I have educated over 10,000 PGW customers that heat with gas. I was asked by ECA to train the NECs and other potential facilitators to conduct these workshops which I call “Train the Trainers”.  The mission is to educate 2,000 PGW customers a year.

Additional Duties:  She was also the construction Manager for their subsidiary organization, Community Development Corporation, where fifty-four houses were renovated and sold to low to moderate income families with funding from the city of Philadelphia Home Rehabilitation Program.  She has extensive experience in construction and was BPI-certified in Residential Building Envelope.

Laura Copeland – Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) - Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Education, Community Engagement and Government Affairs

Ms. Copeland joined the Water Department in October 2000 as a Public Relations Trainee and was promoted to Public Information Officer in December 2007 where she managed the Department’s Public Relations unit and served as the chief spokesperson for interviews with broadcast, radio and print media until January 2021, when she was promoted to her current position.  

Ms. Copeland was selected to participate in LEADERSHIP Philadelphia, a prestigious organization designed to mobilize public and private sector professionals to work on behalf of the community and receive training to be Board leaders.  She currently serves on the boards for the Utility Emergency Services Fund and the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary.  
She served as a Communications Specialist in the United States Army for four years and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. degree in Marketing from Temple University.  

MODERATOR – Shari Williams – Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) – Senior Communications Specialist 

Shari A. Williams is the Senior Communications Specialist for the South-Eastern region for the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. The PUC balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters innovative technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner. The PUC has authority over 11 electric distribution companies, over 25 gas utilities, intrastate, local, toll and access telephone services, providers, motor carriers, pipeline safety, and authority over more than 160 water and wastewater utilities across Pennsylvania. Over the last 25 years, Shari has provided advanced professional public relations work, communications strategies, consumer education, and public outreach to Pennsylvania consumers. Additionally, Shari leads planning, organizing, and implementation related to PUC consumer education and outreach for the region. Shari works on high-level communication assignments that she develops, plans, and executes. Shari participates as one of the PUC’s energy experts at educational roundtables, workshops, train the trainer events, conferences, forums, virtual and in-person events, and the PUC’s signature Be Wise and Be Utility Wise conferences and webinars.

Shari has enhanced consumer education for Pennsylvania utility consumers related explicitly to low-income assistance programs, the advancement of energy efficiency programs, and education about the shale gas industry and other energy economical resources. Shari serves as President-Elect for the Women’s Energy Network Greater Philadelphia; she previously held the board role of the Director of Community Initiatives. Shari is also a member of The American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE), The National Energy Utility Affordability Coalition (NEAUC), and The National Utilities Diversity Council. Shari was appointed to serve on Governor Wolf’s Energy Action Transition Team and received the Ipraxis Stem Advocate of the year award.

$10 for WEN Members
$25 for Non-Members

All proceeds from the event will be given to a local group for assistance.

Registration Deadline:
November 25, 2022

Walk-In Policy: 
Walk-in registration is available on a limited, first come – first served basis. Donations must be made by cash

Event Questions? Please contact: Erin Baker

Cancelation Policy: Refunds are a chapter-by-chapter decision. Please contact the event contact above with cancellation or refund requests.

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12/1/2022 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Eastern Standard Time
Braskem America Inc. 1735 Market Street #29 Philadelphia, PA 19103 UNITED STATES

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