September 24, 2019

The Cleanie Awards® Honors Kelly Speakes-Backman as 2019 Woman of the Year

(Washington, DC – September 24, 2019) – Kelly Speakes-Backman, Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Energy Storage Association (ESA) has been chosen as The Cleanie Awards® Woman of the Year. The Cleanie Awards program is the first comprehensive awards program exclusive to the cleantech industry. The program sets out to recognize innovation excellence, business leadership and superior outreach campaigns. Nominations were submitted from individuals and organizations of all sizes and across many facets of the industry.

For Speakes-Backman, this award signifies her influence within the cleantech field, specifically for showing exceptional leadership, innovation and mentorship in the industry.

“The Cleanie Awards set out to identify the unsung movers and shakers in the industry, from the top of the Fortune 100 list to hot startups, pioneering individuals and high impact advocates,” said Elyssa Haynes, program director, The Cleanie Awards. “Kelly Speakes-Backman exemplifies the type of innovation and leadership that we are seeking in an award winner. Her accomplishments serve as an inspiration to the broader cleantech industry.”

Speakes-Backman is a former Commissioner of the Maryland Public Service Commission, who has spent more than 20 years working on energy and environmental issues in the public, NGO and private sectors. Her work has helped bring about sound clean energy policy both regionally and nationwide, that facilitates market growth, technological innovation and sustainability. Today, as leader of ESA, she is a key thought leader in an industry—energy storage—that is growing exponentially and is proving to be an indispensable factor in enabling the development of a sustainable electricity grid powerful enough to meet the evolving demands of high-tech future.

“I’m truly honored to receive such a prestigious award, and humbled to be thought of as helping inspire others to lead this industry,” said Speakes-Backman.  “This award embodies the reason why I entered the clean energy field from the beginning: that I would do my part in building a better world in which our communities can enjoy the benefits of clean, reliable, uninterrupted energy that is produced and delivered in an innovative, affordable and sustainable way.”

Kelly Speakes-Backman was selected by a group of judges and leaders representing a cross-section of the cleantech and renewable energy sectors, including Allie Burns, Village Capital; Thiam Giam, Black & Veatch Management Consulting, LLC; Gil Jenkins, Hannon Armstrong; Chris Taylor, Google; Emily Williams, Edison Energy; and Chris Vlahoplus, Scott Madden.

A full list of winners can be found

About the winner:

Kelly Speakes-Backman is the first CEO of the Energy Storage Association. Kelly has spent over 20 years working in energy and environmental issues in the public, NGO and private sectors, including United Technologies, SunEdison and Alliance to Save Energy. She is a former Commissioner of the Maryland Public Service Commission where she also served as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, co-vice chair of the NARUC Committee on Energy Resources and the Environment, and member of the EPRI Energy Efficiency & Grid Modernization Public Advisory Group.  She serves on the Board of Directors at the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) and on the External Advisory Board of Georgia Institute of Technology’s Strategic Energy Institute.

About The Cleanie Awards®:

The Cleanie Awards® is the first comprehensive awards program exclusive to the cleantech industry. It generates much needed visibility for innovators and disruptors in the industry who are creating life [and planet] changing solutions. The campaigns recognized by the award program aim to influence public opinion about technologies delivering on the promise of a clean energy future. For more information, visit our website at

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook at @CleanieAwards and on LinkedIn.

Contact: Ellen Backus | Senior Vice President | Silverline Communications
Phone: (703) 286-5500

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