An Interview with Brooke Mittermann: Princess of Energy

Wendy Carhart

In Brooke’s home office, on the wall across from her desk are two shelves sporting eight She-Ra: Princess of Power dolls. “I loved watching She-Ra solve problems, fight evil, and make the world a better place―at least that’s how I interpreted the cartoon as a kid. The women were strong and powerful; not just damsels in distress.” Brooke told me during our interview. “I know it’s silly, but I love having these symbols of strength in my office. It’s sort of my female interpretation of masculine paintings of horses, ships with sails, or men holding swords and staring off into the distance.”
brooke_mittermann2I recently sat down with Brooke to hear more about her career and what she does for Ecova clients. I learned that Brooke helps clients reduce energy and resource consumption through efficiency programs, projects and behavior-based changes. She helps to embed awareness into an organization, modify or implement policies, develop a culture to drive efficiency, and leads energy program implementation.

Brooke works as an extension of our clients’ energy teams, taking a holistic view across their entire portfolio of buildings that enables her to to identify and diagnose utility trends and high-use, or outlier, sites. She works collaboratively with client contacts at all levels of the organization, from the COO down to the general manager of a specific site, to investigate outliers, provide specific and actionable recommendations to reduce consumption across the portfolio, and report key performance indicators. “I plug myself in wherever I can be most effective for the client, creatively solve problems, and turn challenges in to opportunities.” Brooke told me.

In her problem solving role, Brooke knows how to bring the right tool for the job. “Sometimes, client need a wide range of skills and expertise. They might look for assistance in reducing specific resource consumption (water, electricity, natural gas, etc.) or have a capital project in the works and need help organizing implementation, ensuring that they capture rebate opportunities; and selecting the most efficient, best performing, equipment available within their budget. The Ecova team has the expertise our clients need that expertise they may not have internally. “We act as an extension of our clients’ internal teams, and if I’m not the expert they need for any given project or request, I can leverage the diverse and talented team here at Ecova to help solve the problem,” Brooke says.

Brooke is working closely with Arby’s to implement a capital intensive energy program in 2013. She is leading program implementation, supported by Paul Kuck, another energy manager and quick serve restaurant expert, and a cross-functional energy team at Arby’s. The project was born out of a complex strategic planning project, lead by Indigo Tiewes, senior manager of strategic planning services for Ecova. “It’s all about teamwork. I couldn’t do what I do without the support of my internal and external energy teams.” Brooke told me.

It’s this team environment that Brooke likes most about her job. “I get to build relationships and work collaboratively with my clients to impact their energy and resource consumption. The feeling that I’m really supporting them and helping drive positive environmental change is the best part of my job.” Brooke says. “It feels like I’m saving the planet a little bit at a time, solving problems, and fighting evil―so, I suppose I’m a little like She-Ra! I’ll let her keep the ‘Princess of Power’ title; I’m more of aPrincess of Energy anyway.”

Brooke Mittermann has been leading energy and resource management programs for Ecova’s large, multi-site commercial clients for over a year. She has experience working in grocery, retail, quick serve restaurant, and senior living categories and completed her CEM training in April of 2012. Brooke holds an MBA in Sustainable Business Practices from the University of Oregon and an Honor’s Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Oregon State University.

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