Team Q&A: Whitley McGovern – Business Development

Working in Business Development, Whitley McGovern believes in helping empower utilities to modernize the grid of the future. Please join me in welcoming Whitley as one of the newest members of the Virtual Peaker team!

How did your previous life prepare you for Virtual Peaker? 

Well, this response might be from left field, but from the time I was a 5th grader to a senior in high school, I was on a team known as the Future Problem Solvers. We competed in competitions where we would devise solutions to humanity’s inevitable problems. One year, the entirety of our studies focused on a phenomenon that we coined as ocean soup. It’s actually called The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and it’s a giant trash vortex between Hawaii and California. Anyways, that year of studying this treacherous threat to our earth inspired a lifelong inclination to be environmentally conscious, and endlessly seek solutions to the problem. The fact that we won the state championship that year might have also helped me remember ocean soup forever. 

Tell us about your role at Virtual Peaker. 

I work with utilities small and large that are exploring demand response or distributed energy resource (DER) management strategies. My role is to understand their current challenges around launching or expanding upon a demand response initiative. Another big piece of what I do, and likely my favorite, is sparking thought around change. I often engage in conversations with individuals who are able to instigate decarbonization programs but are not aware of existing tools and technology like Virtual Peaker. I might be flicking on the first light bulb for utilities to investigate an opportunity that has implications for all of us.

How do you personally engage in sustainability efforts? 

Whitley McGovern 1There are a few ways that I try to live more sustainably. First, I sort of despise purchasing things like home decor, clothing AKA fast fashion, and other items that will eventually be tossed in the trash and end up in a landfill. I would much rather refurbish something I find on the side of the street or DIY from an item I already have than purchase something new. I also do my part by striving to be as water and plastic conscious as possible. I try to skip bottled water and avoid discardable plastic. Last but not least, I vote! I use my voice to inspire change and vote for candidates that have a strong environmental platform.

What can you tell us about yourself?

I grew up in Owensboro, Kentucky, and went to college at the University of Louisville. I fell in love with the city of Louisville and decided to stick around for a while. I enjoy traveling to new places and finding unique pieces of nature, weight lifting, and taking my hyperactive 2-year-old “puppy” for hikes. Being active is a core piece of my life, but I also enjoy being crafty, cooking, and teaching myself different coding languages (slowly, but surely).

 

Looking to help us change the world?

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About The Author
Bill Burke blog author

Bill is a serial entrepreneur with a PhD from UC Berkeley in Controls and Artificial Intelligence and 10 years of experience with high performance residential energy management and connected appliances. He was previously at GE as an Advanced Systems Engineer in the Connected Home Software Group, but left that role in May 2014 to pursue entrepreneurship full time. Bill grew up in Louisville and returned with his family in 2010 after a long stint in the San Francisco Bay Area. He loves Louisville and is working to make it a better and more attractive city for high tech startups.

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