(AUSTIN, TEXAS) The Gulf Coast Power Association (GCPA) Board of Directors is pleased to announce that it has selected Rebecca Zerwas as the 2018 recipient of the GCPA emPOWERing Young Professionals Award. This is the inaugural award that is to be presented annually in recognition of an individual under the age of 40 who actively participates in the electric power industry and contributes to the success of their employer, the success of the electric power market, the development of other industry professionals and provides leadership for projects or activities within the electric power profession.
Rebecca is currently a Regulatory Affairs Manager at CenterPoint Energy; in this role, she will provide regulatory support to the electric business unit and interact with the Public Utility Commission of Texas.
Her utility career started as a Retail Market Analyst at the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) and then moved on to Wholesale Market Analyst. She subsequently joined NRG Energy where she further developed her skills in the electric utility regulatory field, moving from Regulatory Specialist to Regulatory Manager in three years. During her time at NRG Energy she was active in Electric Reliability Organization of Texas (ERCOT) issues being the Retail Market Subcommittee (RMS) Vice Chair for two years before becoming the RMS Chair in 2018. During these years she provided leadership to her employers by providing expert witness testimony, analyses of financial implications of regulatory issues and interfacing with numerous industry groups and lobbyists. She has also been an active participant in GCPA activities. Rebecca joined CenterPoint Energy’s Austin office earlier this year.
Jason Ryan, Vice President of Regulatory and Government Affairs at CenterPoint Energy was one of two to nominate Rebecca and he states, “To highlight her collaborative nature, she has organized Retail Electric Provider (REP) summits seeking to engage smaller REPs at the PUCT and ERCOT and hosted monthly market calls for the REP community. In her spare time, Rebecca lends her talent and expertise to the utility community by volunteering with the GCPA emPOWERing women initiative, facilitating a mentoring circle and serving on the planning committee for the golf tournament to raise monies for the scholarship fund. Rebecca has a bright future in the industry. This award will provide public acknowledgement of her good works.”
“Throughout my time in the energy industry, the GCPA organization has served an important role in my development from several perspectives. GCPA conferences and events have provided numerous education and networking opportunities, while the emPOWERing initiative has granted me invaluable opportunities to connect with women of all ages and experiences through mentoring programs and volunteering events,” stated Rebecca.
Eric Blakey, Director, Regulatory and Legislative Affairs for Just Energy was the other professional that nominated Rebecca and he states, “Rebecca has shown incredible leadership her entire career. She is someone who takes leadership head on and has demonstrated amazing effectiveness. She effectively led the Retail Market Subcommittee at ERCOT, becoming the first retailer to lead the organization in over five years. She led the retailer segment at the Association of Electric Companies of Texas (AECT) and has been an active participant in GCPA and other activities, leading panel discussions and several efforts.”
Mark Walker, Attorney at Clark Hill Strasburger and 2018 GCPA Board President commented, “GCPA is proud to recognize Rebecca with this initial emPOWERing Young Professionals Award, a distinction she has earned with her leadership and dedication. Rebecca has served in key leadership roles in stakeholder processes and is an effective advocate and collaborator. She is also a committed volunteer and leader in support of numerous GCPA emPOWERing Women activities.” This view was seconded by Kristy Ashley of Customized Energy Solutions and GCPA’s board vice-president, “The committee received many well qualified candidates and it's refreshing to see to see so much talent rising in the industry. Ms. Zerwas has demonstrated strong leadership among her peers in the ERCOT stakeholder process and I am looking forward to watching her grow her career.”
The award is only eligible to someone that is a GCPA individual or corporate member and must be less than 40 years old at the end of 2018. The nomination criteria include the following:
• Career Progress
• Industry Involvement
• Leadership Development
• Be well-respected and in good standing within the community
• Serve as a role model for other young professionals
• Demonstrate noteworthy professional and personal achievement
• Demonstrate commitment to excellence and proven leadership
• Exhibit expertise, passion and the ability to inspire others
Zerwas received a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from St. Edward’s
About the Gulf Coast Power Association (GCPA)
GCPA is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and sustaining a healthy competitive power market. GCPA represents a broad spectrum of segments within the electric power industry and provides a forum for its membership of over 130 corporate and 300 individual members to discuss wide-ranging issues pertaining to the evolving electric market in Texas, the Gulf Coast region and Mexico. For more information, please visit www.gulfcoastpower.org.