In this episode, Sharon Lee talks with Kelly Pickerel, the editor-in-chief of Solar Power World, about Kelly’s perspective on how the solar industry has become a more inclusive and diverse place for women and young people. Kelly tells us about how by being editor-in-chief she has always tried to combine her 11-year knowledge of the solar industry and journalism to make the industry a place where everyone can thrive. Kelly also emphasizes how and why the solar industry has become a kind of magnet for women and how she is willing to reinforce that trend.
Sharon Lee taps over a decade of solar sales experience, having led the creation of a solar division for a leading manufacturing/construction firm, resulting in over 17 MW of solar in its portfolio as well as solar ultimately becoming its highest-grossing revenue vertical. Lee has been involved in the GA Solar Energy Association, serving on the board of directors as the marketing chair, organizing the annual conference, as well as vice-chair, and ultimately the first female chair of the organization in 2015. She is also a charter member of the Professional Women in Building chapter of the Greater Atlanta Homebuilders Association, a member of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), and Women in Solar Energy (WISE). Lee earned her B.S. degree in communications with double minors in marketing and psychology from Middle Tennessee State University, after spending three years at the University of Tennessee in the pre-health curriculum. Lee is the mom of two boys, ages 14 and 11, and a rabid college football fan. She and her husband, John, spend most of their free time at the baseball or football fields unless they can steal away for a quick round of golf.
Kelly Pickerel is the editorial director of renewables at WTWH Media and editor-in-chief of Solar Power World, a WTWH Media solar industry publication. Kelly has been involved with publishing in the solar industry since 2011 when she started as the founding editor of Solar Builder, a trade magazine. She joined the Solar Power World staff in 2014, and her areas of focus include solar panel manufacturing, energy storage, and the development of Solar Power World’s annual Top Solar Contractors list. During Kelly's tenure as editor-in-chief of Solar Power World, the publication has been honored as one of six finalists in the American Society of Business Publication Editors' National Magazine of the Year award. She also is a Trade Association Business Publications International award winner for her reporting on the U.S. solar polysilicon market. Kelly graduated from Kent State University with a degree in magazine journalism and lives in Cleveland, Ohio.
Insights from this Episode
- Kelly’s life and childhood
- How Kelly landed the solar industry
- Kelly’s trajectory in the solar industry
- How Kelly has balanced giving mentorship to new hires and her own formation
- Why women are attracted to the Solar Industry
- Mentorship outside the solar power walls
- The Solar Power World magazine and its purpose
- The different matters that are treated on the Webinar
- What is the Top Contractors List
- What can be expected from the Top Contractors Gala after virtuality
Quotes from the Show:
- “I've been in the industry for over eleven years now and solar has been my real main focus so it’s kind of exciting to have this magazine journalism background”- Kelly Pickerel in “The Sunnyside Podcast”
- “We try to include more women in our stock images on our site so if we got generic news going out about solar being installed in Georgia…we try to have women being in the picture installing the panels because we know they’re out there doing that ”- Kelly Pickerel in “The Sunnyside Podcast”
- “[About the Solar Power World magazine] Our main mission is to provide those readers with information that will help them do their jobs better today…to be able to give them tips on how to grow the industry, how to grow themselves”- Kelly Pickerel in “The Sunnyside Podcast”
- “[About the Solar Industry] We really promote each other, we want to make sure we’re growing the industry as a whole, we’re not trying to backstab people, we just want to make sure we’re getting more solar on the ground and on roofs”- Kelly Pickerel in “The Sunnyside Podcast”
LinkedIn: Sharon Lee
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LinkedIn: Kelly Pickerel
Twitter: Kelly Pickerel
Instagram: Kelly Pickerel
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This episode was produced and managed by Podcast Laundry.