Building a High-Performing Asset Management Team

Women at Work

Valerie Kitchell leads the Asset Management team that oversees Peak’s electric asset portfolio. When Val joined Peak Power in 2019, the portfolio consisted of only two batteries in the ground, some burgeoning vehicle-to-grid (“V2G”) chargers, and one battery in NY. Since then, she built Peak’s Asset Management team of 4 professionals, and their portfolio has grown to four sites in NY, ten sites in Ontario, and a new market in California with a unique dual-participation model.

Peak’s Asset Management team is also comprised of Jessica Malcolm, Monique Machado, and Funto Oshunmakinde. A unique aspect of the team is that it is made up entirely of women – this diversity remains a rarity in both the energy sector and in tech but is not unusual for Peak. Peak’s belief is that to be truly innovative diversity is critical, and as such our hiring practices go the extra mile required to truly be an equal opportunity employer*. 

Val attributes the team’s success to their diverse professional backgrounds, high level of skill, and teamwork. “Bottom line they are all exceptionally intelligent and responsible, and most importantly, we work extremely well together as a team. Individual ownership, high proficiency and strong collaboration are a winning combination that allows the team to deliver more than the sum of its parts.”

Energy Markets Team – Top row: Shaun Ishwanthlal, Valerie Kitchell, Jessica Malcolm. Bottom row: Funto Oshunmakine, Monique Machado, Matt Scoon.

Creating Spaces for Growth

In 2008 – Val cofounded the Canadian chapter of Women of Wind Energy (now WRISE). In 2013, it evolved into Women in Renewable Energy. Their mission is to advance the role and recognition of women working in the energy sector.

She was driven by personal experience and the desire to build sustainability into the industry itself. “There’s a parallel between the issues of gender diversity and sustainability in the energy industry.” Val says, “In both cases, it’s not about having a single, silver bullet. A diverse resilient mix is important to  support ongoing sustainability of the system.”

Making a Broader Impact

Val’s career in energy started at the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association, advocating for the rapid adoption of renewables and distributed benefit models at the local level. Later she joined wpd Canada, developing and financing wind farms including community wind projects. Now at Peak Power, she is supporting the adoption of battery storage, an essential piece of the puzzle that supports the growth of renewable energy and overall sustainability of the grid.

Val celebrated her 2-year anniversary at Peak Power this week. We want to congratulate her on this milestone and thank her for her incredible contributions!

 

*Our Talent & Recruitment Team uses Gender Decoder to remove gender-coded language from our job posts. We also post openings across a variety of channels, including those that target typically marginalized groups.