Alecia Ward, Wendy Jaehn, and Jay Wrobel

Award category

Chair's Award

Year released


Alecia Ward was the founding Executive Director of MEEA. She worked tirelessly starting in 1999 to develop a regional energy efficiency organization in the Midwest. MEEA was originally incubated at the Environmental Law & Policy Center with founding members including the U.S. Department of Energy; the state energy offices of Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin; ComEd and Xcel Energy. MEEA was formally incorporated in 2000 and started running Change A Light and refrigerator recycling programs in 2002. Alecia led the creation of the Midwest Energy Solutions Conference and the Inspiring Efficiency Awards. She was the face for energy efficiency in state capitols across the Midwest, always advocating for energy efficiency. When she left MEEA in 2008, the organization had grown to more than 70 members and 12 staff.

Wendy Jaehn was MEEA's first Program Associate. She worked closely with Alecia to create and expand efficiency programs throughout the region. Starting from Program Associate and expanding her role to become the Deputy Director under Alecia and then President and CEO from 2008 through 2010, Wendy was the backbone of the organization. She worked behind the scenes to create MEEA's infrastructure and strong financial platform and ensure a strong strategic plan. During Wendy’s leadership Membership expanded to more than 100 organizations, the footprint grew to mirror the Midwestern Governors Association and MEEA was active with program and policy work in nine states.

Jay Wrobel joined MEEA as a Program Manager in 2006. Jay was a leader in identifying new technologies and developing new programs. He became MEEA's Program Director in 2007 and was named Executive Director in 2010. Under Jay’s leadership MEEAs membership grew to 150 organizations, the staff increased to almost 30 and the Midwest Energy Solutions conference became one of the largest energy efficiency events in the country. While at MEEA, Jay created the Participating Energy Efficiency Contractors network, HVAC SAVE, and the Midwest Industrial Initiative.

Presented by:
Tim Melloch
Director, Energy Efficiency Services