Tuesday Apr 11, 2023

Ep 13: Chat with Michelle Van Enige

Episode Summary:

In this episode, Michelle Van Enige talks about her experience in the solar industry and the very supportive mentors who took her hand in the journey. While she did not have struggles or any discouragement getting into this field, she recognizes that this is a male-dominated industry and is mentoring people to get into it. Finally, she gives some pointers for people looking to enter it.


Sharon Lee

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.


Michelle Van Enige

Michelle Van Enige is a Senior Project Engineer at Velo Solar, an Electricity, Oil & Gas company with an estimated 19 employees, founded in 2007. They are part of the Project Management team within the Engineering & Technical Department, and their management level is Non-Manager. Michelle graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2016 and is based in Atlanta, United States.


Insights from this Episode

  • Michelle’s background
  • How she got into solar
  • Insights into how women can make it in this male-dominated field
  • Details about her mentorship
  • The importance of communication
  • Her experience in the solar industry

Quotes from the Show: 

  • “I thought electricity was cool, I know it sounds simple, but I wanted to go for something I didn’t know a lot about, and I just went for it” —Michelle Van Enige in “The Sunnyside Podcast”
  • “I don’t remember anyone telling me that I couldn’t, or shouldn’t go into engineering. It was a bit of a surprise when I got to tech, but I kept going” —Michelle Van Enige in “The Sunnyside Podcast”
  • “There are expectations and assumptions that may not be fair, and regardless, they are really not communicated, and different people take different approaches” —Michelle Van Enige in “The Sunnyside Podcast”
  • “It can be harder to be yourself when you don’t see anyone who looks like you and your role or the role you wanna be in” —Michelle Van Enige in “The Sunnyside Podcast”
  • “You have to be yourself. Everyone has different experiences but if you’re able to communicate well and be given the grace to ask questions, you should be able to curve out your place” —Sharon Lee in “The Sunnyside Podcast”


Resources Mentioned

PV magazine


Stay Connected:


Sharon Lee

LinkedIn: Sharon Lee 

Facebook: Sharon Lee


Michelle Van Enige

LinkedIn: Michelle Van Enige, P.E. 


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This episode was produced and managed by Podcast Laundry.


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