Solar Sister, Inc. | Founder & Executive Director | Bristol RI
Founder and Executive Director of Solar Sister, a social enterprise providing solar technology and income generating opportunities to women, girls and families in Africa.
Standing on the top of Mt. Elgon in eastern Uganda, looking across the valley to the rugged Karamojoa mountains in the distance, the expanse of earth visible in the gently rounded horizon, the sky so close and so deeply blue you can touch it.
For women and girls to have access to the knowledge and technologies that can improve their lives. I want to bring light, hope and opportunity to women and girls who have the most need and the least access.
My career started at the other end of the world from the women in rural Africa. I worked on Wall Street, financing billion dollar power plants to provide energy for economic growth. In many cases, the projects provided benefits for bankers, lawyers, engineers, everyone except the very people who needed it most, the rural poor. Often, there would be shanty towns in the very shadow of the power plants where people burned kerosene for light. The experience left me acutely aware of the need for solutions to be bottom up instead of top down. When I left banking, I brought my expertise to the task of finding an environmentally sound solution to the problem of energy poverty. For 5 years I have worked with a group that brings solar to Africa. Through this work, and the work with an
organization that empowers Afghan women through employment, I have been able to understand the importance of engaging women in any lasting change. Advances in solar technology have created a tremendous opportunity to eliminate rural energy poverty. But the solution must address the needs of the women who are the key to the successful adoption of any lasting solution.
I am a dreamer and a schemer. My passion is to analyze, to puzzle, to build and to create. My gift is to bring entrepreneurial energy to build relationships and businesses. On Wall Street, there is no "yesterday", and I woke up each morning with the challenge of making success happen. I built lasting relationships with customers and created new businesses in new markets.
In the space that opened up when I left banking to raise my family, I have been able to follow my passions: empowering women and protecting the environment. I have experience leading non-profit organizations, bringing my financial expertise and a results oriented approach to their success.