Tell us about yourself and your background.
Since I was a child, I always wanted to be in the sustainability, climate, and technology space. I earned a bachelor’s degree in Geophysics and a master’s degree in Energy Resources Engineering from Stanford University with a Dean’s award for academic achievement. That education was a good fit for me and I was able to find a job out of college at a solar analytics company in 2017.
That was a tough time to be in the solar industry, especially at a small company, because in 2018 tariffs on imported solar energy equipment were announced. That gave quite a few customers cold feet to adopt solar, so the company went under. I soon found Stem and interviewed for a program operations analyst position but found I was a better fit in the data operations group working as a Tariff Analyst because Stem had a huge knowledge gap in that area at that time, and I had done a lot of tariff analysis for sales at my previous company. Ultimately, I joined Stem as a Data Operations Analyst with a focus on tariffs and worked a lot with the product team. I loved being on the product side and brainstorming new ideas and solutions and figuring out ways to improve Stem’s offerings.
I loved working with our engineering team and Bob Schembri, Senior Product Manager at Stem. That was a lot of fun for me, so on the data operations team, I started to push for more product management work to carve out a role that I thought fit my interests a little more. Julie Steury, VP of Operations at Stem, was hugely supportive in helping make that happen for me. I also had other managers who advocated on my behalf to join the product management team because they knew it was something that I wanted to do. That’s something I love about Stem. The management team has been great since I started, and they’ve been really supportive of what I want to do and shaping my role around my interests. So, I took on the role of Product Manager and that’s been an eye-opening experience for me.
What is your current role at stem?
My current role is Technical Product Manager for the Cloud platform team and that includes not only our data models and telemetry pipelines but also two of our Athena® applications – SupervisorTM and ExplorerTM. Athena Supervisor enables users to view system operation and real-time performance while Athena Explorer enables users to review energy savings insights and system performance data.
I gather user feedback from partners, customers, and internal stakeholders to help determine the user interface and experience of the new applications. Because of my face-to-face time with those user groups and close work with our applications, I have become the lead expert for behind-the-meter Athena and lead most of the behind-the-meter demos.
What would you say is the most interesting thing you’ve worked on lately?
Working on these applications is exciting and different because I get to build something that I could visualize and knew was necessary. And it’s been so satisfying to work on Explorer, specifically, mostly because it’s receiving positive feedback from partners and customers. I’m building tools that they want to see, and I’m the one asking, “How can we get there? How do we solve this problem?”
Stem was founded as a behind-the-meter business in California that served commercial and industrial customers. So the information we provided our partners and customers was aimed at the type of information they’d specifically want to see: utility bill savings from demand charge management and energy arbitrage. Today, we have far more partner and customer types worldwide that include portfolios of front-of-the-meter projects in diverse energy markets, demand response programs, incentive programs, and more edge integrations. This all requires views into these various value streams, such as market participation revenues and program compliance for larger users with multiple sites.
What recent industry trend has made a big impression on you?
Now that the Biden administration has passed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and facilitated the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), enacted as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the entire renewable energy industry has turned around in a fantastic way. My short career in energy has been a roller coaster but it’s great to see a trend where more people are interested in clean energy and saving our planet. That’s definitely what keeps me interested in my work at Stem. I also love that the partners and customers I speak to are not only interested in the economic benefits of energy storage, but many of them are also interested in GHG optimization, sustainability, Federal Storage ITC and Solar PTC compliance, and all of these things that use storage for reducing emissions on the grid overall.
What advice would you give to someone who is interested in joining the energy industry?
It’s important to be mission-driven and to be passionate about what you do. I think that’s true for any career, not only in energy. If you’re not passionate, you’re not going to want to keep doing it, and you have to do this day in and day out. My advice is to do what you love or what drives you. If joining the clean tech industry and if climate change is something that drives you, it’s a great space to be in.
Is there anything you’d like Stem’s current partners to know about Stem?
Stem is poised to be the global leader in AI-driven clean energy solutions and services across all types of use cases. We’re able to co-optimize different value streams, and we have great people working here at Stem who are continuously pushing boundaries to make our platform even better.