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Equity in Green Jobs

September 29 @ 16:00 - 17:00 CDT

This hybrid event is brought to you by Greentown Labs and AmFam Institute

We know the climate crisis and the fight for racial justice go hand in hand. The projected growth of the climatetech industry and its ability to train and employ people means that there is abundant potential to create wealth and jobs, especially for low-income communities and communities of color.

On Wednesday, Sept. 29 at 4:00 p.m. CT, hear from experts who will share how we can build toward a resilient, low-carbon future while simultaneously and rapidly expanding opportunities for women and people of color to economically benefit from and help drive the climatetech revolution.

The conversation will cover:

  • The current state of Houston’s quickly evolving energy landscape
  • Skills applicable to the energy transition
  • Examples of comprehensive climatetech workforce development programs
  • Incorporating equity into green jobs

In-person attendees are invited to join us for a happy hour from 5:00-7:00 p.m. following the panel discussion at Greentown Houston!


Peter Beard, Senior Vice President, Regional Workforce Development, GHP

Kay McCall, Executive Director, Renewable Energy Alliance Houston

C. Kay McCall serves as President and Executive Director of the Renewable Energy Alliance Houston, an organization committed to enabling Houston to maintain its leadership position by growing renewable energy and other energy transition businesses in the area. In this position, Ms. McCall works to facilitate synergies, networking, and knowledge-sharing among those working in the energy industry.

A senior energy industry executive with more than a decade of experience in renewable energy, Ms. McCall has also worked extensively in the conventional power, oil and gas services, engineering and construction, and manufacturing industries. For eight years, Ms. McCall served as President, CEO and board member of Noble Environmental Power, LLC, a wind energy company which operated windfarms in both Texas and New York. In addition to her tenure at Noble, Ms. McCall served as a member of senior leadership teams of both large public and private equity-backed companies in the energy industry, including GE, Enron and Technip. She began her career as a trial lawyer.

She is also a member of the Board of Advisors for the University of Houston Bauer College of Business – Gutierrez Energy Management Institute, as well as Global Affairs Associates, a boutique ESG firm in Houston.

Ms. McCall earned both her Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Houston.

Katie Mehnert, CEO and Founder, ALLY Energy

The modern architect of culture change in energy, Katie Mehnert is the Founder and CEO of ALLY Energy™ the community accelerating connections, jobs and skills to drive an equitable energy transition.

Katie has held global leadership roles with BP and Shell in safety and environment during periods of financial crisis, spills, divestment and globalization. Katie’s early career included consulting with Duke Energy, Entergy and Enron. Her corporate path drove her to entrepreneurship to help energy companies prepare for the looming talent shortage and workforce diversity needs to address energy poverty and climate change.

In 2020 she was appointed an Ambassador to the United States Department of Energy and in 2019, she testified before Congress on the clean energy workforce of the future. She’s published in Scientific American, Forbes, The Hill, CNBC, CNN, and other international outlets. She is also the founder of Lean In Energy, a global nonprofit solely devoted to mentoring in the energy sector. Her book is Grow with the Flow, Embracing Difference, Overcoming Failure and Progress with Purpose. She’s also appeared in Hot Money, a 2021 documentary produced by Academy Award winning actor, Jeff Bridges and Retired NATO General Wesley Clark and Army Veteran Wes Clark Jr. on the financial complexities of climate change, energy, insurance and real estate.

Katie is a four-time World Major marathoner having completed London, Chicago, New York and Berlin. Her husband is VP associate general counsel with Baker Hughes. They live with their 10-year-old daughter in Houston’s Energy Corridor.

(Moderator) Juliana Garaizar, Head of Houston Incubator and Vice President of Innovation, Greentown Labs

Prior to Greentown Labs, Juliana has worked in roles in startup support organizations, angel investment groups, and venture capital firms across multiple industry sectors including medtech, cleantech, fintech, consumer and impact. Most recently she served as the Director of the Texas Medical Center Venture Fund, and prior to that as the Managing Director of the Houston Angel Network. The Houston Angel Network is the most active angel network in the United States, and has invested in Greentown companies AMS and Dynamo Micropower. Prior to this, Juliana managed the Antipolis Innovation Campus, a small business innovation and incubation center in the French Riviera. In this role she also served as the Managing Director of the Sophia Business Angels, investing in cleantech startups such as SunPartner, Solar Indice, Nheolis, Blue H Group and Certinergy. Juliana earned her MBA at the London Business School and Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, with a concentration in entrepreneurship. She has also received recognition as a Kauffman Fellow, a highly selective two-year program for innovative venture capital leaders.

About American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact

We invest in visionary entrepreneurs who are building scalable social enterprises in the following areas: economic opportunity for all, healthy youth development, learning and academic achievement, and resilient communities.


*We will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for in-person attendees at Greentown Houston for this event. If you have questions, please reach out to Jill Kirkpatricks for our full policy.


September 29
16:00 - 17:00 CDT
Event Category: