AEE Staff

Executive & Administration

Bill Kent, C.E.M., Executive Director

Bill has served as Executive Director of AEE since November 2017, succeeding Al Thumann, Founder of AEE, who served as AEE's Executive Director for 40 years. Bill has been involved in the energy management industry for over 30 years and brings expertise in energy efficiency, instrumentation, automation, building systems, and executive leadership. In his 10 years at AEE, he has led many key initiatives and has been managing the day to day operations of the organization in his role as Managing Director. 

He is responsible for managing and developing programs for membership, certification, publications, and conferences. He has worked with many local, state and federal agencies to develop workforce training programs and led the initiative to gain ANSI 17024 Accreditation and U.S. DOE Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines recognition of the AEE certifications.

Bill attended the University of Georgia and is a Certified Energy Manager® (CEM®), a member of the Commercial Workforce Credentialing Council Board of Advisors, a member of the Certification and Licensure Advisory Group for Credential Engine and was previously Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Varec, a Leidos company. Bill can be reached by email or by phone at (770) 447-5083, ext. 217.

Jennifer Vendola, Controller

Jennifer joined AEE in 2005 as Certification Director and assumed the position of Controller in 2007. She handles all aspects of accounting, human resources as well as database management.  Jennifer holds Bachelor’s Degrees in Chemistry and Accounting from Georgia State University. Jennifer can be reached by email or by phone at (770) 447-5083, ext. 222.

 
 
Michelle Whitlock, Executive Administrator

Michelle has been with AEE for 12 years and has worked as the Conference Speakers Director and Digital Communications Director and assumed the role of Executive Administrator in 2020. Michelle oversees the AEE Awards Programs at international, national, and regional levels, and administers programs for the AEE Energy Managers Hall of Fame and Officer nominations and elections. She is responsible for U.S. and international chapter development and relations and serves as liaison for the Council for Women in Energy & Environmental Leadership. She also leads the AEE Membership Department. Michelle holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Georgia State University. Michelle can be reached by email or by phone at (770) 447-5083, ext. 216.
 

Ray Segars, C.E.M., F.A.E.E, Director of Business Development

Ray joined the AEE staff in April 2021. Ray is responsible for developing strategies, activities, and identifying growth opportunities for AEE throughout the United States with new and existing clients. He has extensive energy efficiency and business development experience in his 30+ year career in the industry.  He has served as Chapter President for the local AEE Georgia Chapter, and currently serves as AEE Region II Vice President.  Ray has BS in Industrial Management from GA Tech, a MS in Marketing and MBA both from GA State. Ray can be reached by email or by phone at (770) 447-5083, ext. 239.

 

Sharon Hewson, Executive Assistant

Sharon joined AEE in 2018 as Executive Assistant. She assists the Executive Director with day-to-tasks, as well as being responsible for company IT support, database management, credential registration and AEE webinars. Sharon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Industrial Design Engineering from Teesside University, England. Sharon can be reached by email or by phone at (770) 447-5083, ext. 220.

 

Membership

Mel Claus, Membership Director

Mel joined AEE in 2021 as Member Engagement Specialist and transitioned to Membership Director in April 2021.  As the Membership Director, she is responsible for individual and corporate membership, membership marketing, divisional newsletters, and member webinars. Mel holds a Bachelor's Degree in Strategic Communications from West Virginia University. She can be reached by email or phone at (770) 447-5083, ext. 238.

 

 

Danielle Johnson, Membership Engagement Specialist

Danielle joined AEE in 2014 and is the Membership Engagement Specialist.  Her role includes leading the AEE Student Chapters, supporting AEE member benefits and affinity programs, processing membership applications and packages, assisting with daily member communications, and provides support to the Executive Administrator and Membership department. She also oversees the Fellow Program. Danielle has held previous roles as Administrative Assistant to the Membership Department and Information Services Director.   Danielle can be reached by email or by phone at (770) 447-5083, ext. 210.
 

Certification

Helen Johnson, Certification Development Director

Helen joined AEE in 2004 as Conference Speakers Director where she was is in charge of developing conference programs and coordinating speakers. In 2009 she assumed the role of Certification Director and managed the CEM and BEP certification programs. In January 2020, she started in the position of Certification Development Director. She is responsible for developing and maintaining global certification schemes, as well as overseeing the ISO/IEC 17024 accredited programs. Helen holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree focused in Hospitality Administration from Georgia State University. Helen can be reached by email or by phone at (770) 447-5083, ext. 237.
 

Crystal Xiong, CEM Certification Director

Crystal joined the AEE staff in 2008, assisting the CEM Certification Department.  In January 2020 she assumed the role of CEM Certification Director. She is responsible for managing the CEM certification program. Crystal can be reached by email or by phone at (770) 447-5083, ext. 218.

 

 

Francine Seskin, Certification Director

Francine joined AEE in 2006 as Executive Assistant to the Executive Director after completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing at Georgia State University. She assumed the role of Certification Director in 2008. She is responsible for the following certification programs: CEA, BEP, CBCP, EBCP, CDSM, CIEP, CGD, DGCP, CEP, CWEP, REP, REA, GBE, CSDP, CRM, CLEP, CPQ, BESA. Francine can be reached by email or by phone at (770) 447-5083, ext. 223.

 
Michelle Zakin Leclerc, Certification Director

Michelle joined AEE in 2009 as an Administrative Assistant and assumed the role of Certification Director in the summer of 2010. She oversees the CMVP®, EEP, and PCF Programs.  Michelle holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition from Clemson University. Michelle can be reached by email or by phone at (770) 447-5083, ext. 219.

 
 
Mary Elise Cox, International Program Director

Mary Elise joined AEE in 2005 and handles all aspects of presenting AEE certification training programs with government agencies and the private sector as well as AEE chapters around the world.  She also oversees the process of qualified individuals obtaining certification outside of the United States. Mary Elise holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Consumer Economics and obtained a minor in French from the University of Georgia. Mary Elise can be reached by email or by phone at (770) 447-5083, ext. 221.

 
Kate Feltgen, International Project Coordinator

Kate joined AEE in 2007 as part-time help in the Membership and Conference Registration Departments, and in 2008 she assumed the role of Executive Assistant to Executive Director, and then in 2014 she took over as the Director of Information Services. She is now assisting the International Certification department. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Music Performance from the University of New Hampshire and a Master's in Music Performance from Georgia State University. Kate can be reached by email or by phone at (770) 447-5083, ext. 228.

 
Teniece Price-Williams, Administrative Assistant, International Certification

Teniece started working in the AEE International department in August of 2017. She processes certifications for all programs presented by AEE International training providers. Teniece can be reached by email or by phone at (770) 447-5083, ext. 230.

 
 
Priscila Carbaugh, Certification Renewal Director & Scholarship Director

Priscila joined AEE in May of 2011. She is in charge of certification renewals globally and also serves as the AEE Scholarship Director for the AEE Foundation. She holds a Bachelor's in Communications from Mercer University. Priscila can be reached by email or by phone at (770) 447-5083, ext. 227.

Training

Teresa Piazza, Training Director

Teresa joined AEE in 2019 and oversees the training programs for live, onsite, ondemand, and in-house programs. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Georgia. Teresa can be reached by email or by phone at (770) 447-5083, ext. 232.

 
 
Sara Meyer, Training Administrator

Sara joined AEE in 2019 and is primarily responsible for coordinating Live Training Programs, including Public, Chapter, and Private Training Events. Sara holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Technology from Georgia State University. Sara can be reached by email or by phone at (770) 447-5083, ext. 233.

 
 
Addie Dunton, Online Training Administrator

Addie joined AEE in 2019 assisting the Training Director.  She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a Concentration in Clinical Informatics from Georgia State University. Addie can be reached by email or by phone at (770) 447-5083, ext. 236.

Conferences, Expos & Events

Lauren Lake, Director of Events

Lauren joined AEE staff in 2003.  As AEE’s meeting planner, Lauren coordinates conferences and trade shows, including securing bids and contracts for audio-visual equipment, computers, medical services, security, photography, event services, and catering.  She oversees the design, printing and distribution of promotional materials for shows and membership.  She can also be contacted regarding show sponsorship opportunities. Lauren holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Georgia State University. Lauren can be reached by email or by phone at (770) 447-5083, ext. 211.

 

Diane McCullum, Exhibit Sales Director

Diane joined AEE in 2019 as Exhibit Sales Director.  She is in charge managing exhbitors for AEE East, AEE West, and AEE World. Diane can be reached by email or by phone at (770) 447-5083, ext. 214.

 

 

Cheyenne Kimbrell, Conference Speakers Director

Cheyenne joined AEE in 2018 as Conference Speaker Director.  She is in charge of developing the conference programs and coordinating the speakers for each show.  Cheyenne holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Management with a concentration Event Management from the College of Human Environmental Sciences at The University of Alabama.  Cheyenne can be reached by email or by phone at (770) 447-5083, ext. 215.

 
 
Connie Meadows, Conference Registration Director

Connie joined the AEE staff in 2004, assisting with Membership and Conference Registration. With the separation of the Membership and Conference Department, Connie has taken on the role of Conference Registration Director. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Georgia State University. Connie can be reached by email or by phone at (770) 447-5083, ext. 226.

Marketing & Communications

Michael Hewson, Marketing Director

Michael joined AEE in 2019 to lead brand management and provide creative direction for all marketing activities. Michael has over 18 years of experience in marketing communications and holds a Master’s Degree in Marketing from Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University. Michael can be reached by email or by phone at (770) 447-5083, ext. 225.

 
 
Laurie Beth Nix, Marketing Communications Specialist

Laurie Beth Nix joined AEE in 2021 as the Marketing and Communications Specialist, focusing on propelling AEE’s brand forward through social media and digital marketing. Laurie Beth holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Middle Georgia State University in Interdisciplinary Studies concentrating in New Media and Communications. Laurie Beth can be reached by email or by phone at (770) 447-5083, ext. 229.