60 Women Power Progress in the WBENC Energy Executive Program

As WBENC sustains its Momentum throughout the remainder of 2023, its biggest Energy Executive Program cohort yet has completed its on-site portion of its programming. The cohort participated in four highly engaging virtual sessions with prominent industry stakeholders covering various topics such as New Energies, Upstream, Midstream, Downstream, Chemicals, and more!  

60-Women Business Enterprises (WBEs) participated in a 3-day hands-on opportunity in Houston, Texas, to gain a deeper understanding of all segments of the Energy Industry. This field-based learning experience provided practical knowledge of the energy industry and created opportunities for women entrepreneurs to build relationships with corporations across various industry segments, expanding their areas of opportunity. 

This highly interactive and immersive executive education experience was made possible by the amazing Corporate Participants: BP America Inc., Chevron, ExxonMobil, Hess Corporation, and Shell USA, Inc.  


The on-site programming included networking, fireside chats with industry leadership, happy hour socials, and field-based activities around the Greater Houston area, including excursions to:  

  • Chevron’s Technology Ventures 
  • The “Ion” Houston 
  • Shell Deer Park Chemical Plant 

The program opened its doors to include various guest corporations and primes for its Corporate and Prime Meet & Greet, guest corporations and primes included Baker Hughes, ConocoPhillips, and Technip FMC – this activity resulted in 413 introductions between WBEs and their paired Participating Corporations, guest corporations and primes.

Photos from the Cohort

Corporate and Site Leadership from all the Participating Corporations facilitated the presentations and were special guests, engaging with the participants throughout the week.  

Following the conclusion of the graduation ceremony from the Houston Energy industry, the Energy Executive Program participants gave back to the Houston community. In collaboration with ExxonMobil, Shell USA, Inc., and the Women’s Business Enterprise Alliance (WBEA), participants engaged in a workshop style community impact event for local entrepreneurial-minded students to map out their business’ next steps – each student was paired with 2-3 Women entrepreneur mentors within the WBENC network to then create an actionable plan for next steps on their entrepreneurial journey to turn their business into a reality. The student mentees then reported out their plans to an encouraging crowd of women businesses owners.  

Community Impact Event

Participants engaged in 3-days of networking opportunities not only with Participating Corporations, guest corporations, and Primes, however, also with each other. These opportunities included time allocated toward WBE – WBE networking. Through these experiences, a total of 451 connections were established. Among these connections, an impressive 269 invitations were extended for potential partnerships in future projects, indicating a robust interest in collaborative ventures and a proactive approach towards business expansion. Additionally, 182 participants expressed a keen interest in purchasing products and/or services, highlighting the event’s impact in unveiling new opportunities. 

Among the 60-WBE participants, the cohort incapsulated each segment of the Energy industry, allowing for cross-business collaboration and for a well-rounded opportunity and experience to better understand all segments of the Energy Industry. The make-up of the cohort for the WBENC Energy Executive Program class of 2023 was: 

  • 17% in New Energy 
  • 8% in Upstream 
  • 19% in Midstream 
  • 22% in Downstream 
  • 34% in Professional & Business Services 
Photos of the Cohort

Participants in the WBENC Energy Executive Program are selected and welcomed into the cohort through a competitive application process that begins mid-summer. Cohort participants may be selected through a participating corporation: BP America Inc., Chevron, ExxonMobil, Hess Corporation, and Shell USA, Inc. Selection criteria for the participants includes: 

  • Currently certified and in good standing as a WBENC-Certified Women Business Enterprise (WBE). 
  • Must be the majority owner of the company and have a minimum of three years’ experience operating a business. 
  • Maintain a minimum annual sales volume of $1,000,000. 
  • Provide goods and/or services applicable to the Energy Industry. 
The Energy Executive Program was a valuable experience. It not only provided insight to the energy industry, but it brought together women business owners from around the United States and allowed us to bond in a few short days and make a connection that probably would not have never happened otherwise. The "ENERGY" was real in the room! It was an EXPERIENCE not a program.
Barb Smith
President | Journey Steel, Inc.
The 2023 Energy Executive Program through WBENC was an excellent opportunity to connect with business owners and operators. The program helped me understand the importance of our role in providing engineering solutions to continue improving the safety and reliability of existing infrastructure and supporting exciting solutions for the energy transition. I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in the program thanks to the generosity of the corporate partners and the expert planning by the WBENC support staff.
Lacey Payne
President & CEO | EDM Services, Inc.

The WBENC Energy Executive Program is an annual program that will be welcoming applications in the summer of 2024 for the next cohort. Stay up to date on all things Energy Executive Program and more by subscribing to the WBENC newsletter.  

Congratulations to the following Women Owned Businesses for successfully completing the WBENC Energy Executive Program: 

Energy Executive Program 2023 Cohort

Aimee Rickabus, Tomahawk Information Solutions
Anabel Lopez, Cumberland Irving, Inc
Angela Morrow, LubriSource
Angela Church, Precision Fiber, Inc.
April  Glueckert, Calumet Lumber Inc.
Aubrey Rife, Tranzstar, Inc
Barb Smith, Journey Steel, Inc.
Barbara Hanaghan, C & L Inspection, LLC
Beverly Westle, EIP Ventures
Carol Nielsen, Nielsen IP Law LLC
Carolette Wright , Wright Management Solutions LLC
Carolyn Farrell, H&H Metal Fabrication
Cassandra Moody, Time For Change, LLC.
Chau Nguyen, CHAOS Supplies
Cherie Griffith-Dunn, Cyproteck Cybersecurity Solutions Inc
Cherri Harris, Swint Logistics Group, Inc.
Christina Robinson, Henry Porter
Crystal McMullen, Chosen Freight Logistics
Debra Collins, Veterans Utility Services, LLC
Denice Olson, Strategic Staffing Solutions
Diana Dixon, DixonCo
Diane Graham, Stratco
Edna McKenzie, Midwest Select Contracting LLC
Emily Hayer, Hayer LLC
Emily Klingbeil, Phoebe, Inc.
Florencia Schnicer, GSI America Inc.
Gina Rodriguez, Delta Force Transport & Logistics
Jami Schield, Fire Cam LLC
Joyce Kristiansson, Kristiansson ESG
Karen Lewis, KARMIC


Katherine Bluma, Business Partner Solutions Inc
Kathryn (Katie) Thompson, Steelhead Tubular LLC
Kerry Fish, Haddon-McClellan Associates, Inc.
Lacey Payne, EDM Services
Lindsay Smith, Luke & Peyton LLC
Liz Lasater, Red Arrow Logistics
Macy Nelson, Kastel Enterprises MK LLC
Madison Kesner, Integrity Asset Management & Protection
Marcia Faschingbauer, Excargo
Marcie Doss, Del Mar Safety Solutions
Mariyah Saifuddin, Innovative Solution Partners
Mika Tang, Urban Pride Investments LLC
Nancy Wunderlich, Ergonomic Solutions, Inc.
Nancy Ford, Security101
Nicola Jones, Niki Jones Agency, Inc
Omolayo Badru, Tenetory LLC
Paola Alvarado, CORE Boiler & Mechanical Services
Que Alicea, Q & A Consulting LLC
Quinn Parker, Encolor LLC
Regine Jeune, DB Sterlin Consultants, Inc.
Sandy Killion, V Specialty Services
Sarah Buell, Buell Consulting, Inc.
Sharon Muniz, NCN Technology
Shelley Iocona, ON ITS AXIS
Sherry Pierce, Tri Industries
Sobat Khawaja, Provectus Consulting
Stephanie Fetchen, KFR Services, Inc.
Theresa Eaton, W.E.C.S. Electric Supply, Inc.
Vrushali “Vee” Nistane, Crave InfoTech
Wendy Lewis, Superior Innovative Solutions, LLC



Jon Cockerham
Programs Manager

As a Programs Manager, Jon assists with executive education and development programs from everything from design thinking and pitching to industry specific programs like the WBENC Chemical Industry Accelerator.