Vision and Mission

Developing leaders to energize the future of nuclear…

NAYGN provides opportunities for a young generation of nuclear enthusiasts to develop leadership and professional skills, create life-long connections, engage and inform the public, and inspire today’s nuclear technology professionals to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Board Of Directors

Lee Causey

Past-President

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Lee Causey has been an NAYGN member since 2010, serving as Duke Energy’s site programs chair, fleet programs chair, and chapter lead. Lee served as a key player in Duke’s SMEs of the Future program, chapter conferences, and KT&R efforts that led to numerous awards for the Duke Energy Chapter.

He has worked in the nuclear industry since 2008, with time split between Duke Energy’s Shearon Harris and McGuire plants. He is a licensed Professional Engineer and a degreed mechanical engineer from NCSU, but his favorite titles are husband (Carrie) and father (Julie and Claire). He is a (very) amateur guitarist and is known to travel with a yoga mat.

Amber Von Ruden

President

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Amber is a Principal Project Manager at Exelon Generation LaSalle Station in IL. She has worked for Exelon for 8.5 years and have held various positions in Chemistry, Engineering, and Project Management. Amber holds a M.S. in Chemistry from Illinois State University, a Project Management Professional Certification, and a BWR ANSI Senior Reactor Operator Certification. Amber is also a published organic chemistry research author. In her time as Treasurer, Amber revamped how NAYGN tracks spending and collects sponsorships to streamline the process and reformed the Sponsorship committee to ensure the financial future of NAYGN. Amber held several leadership roles in the Exelon West Chapter as a site lead, Vice Chair, Chair, and Past Chair.

Amber is passionate about NAYGN and wants to increase engagement of our local chapters through alignment of our vision and goals and understanding of our value proposition. Amber plans to leverage the value NAYGN provides to increase industry support and the impact and reach of our members.

Monica Beistline

Vice-President

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Monica Beistline is a Senior Project Management Scheduler at Limerick Generating Station. She has been with Exelon for over five years in Operations, Work Management, Maintenance, and Project Management but has been in the nuclear industry for ten years in various capacities. Previously, she worked for PSEG Nuclear as a Systems Engineer and Equipment Reliability Improvement Engineer. She graduated from Widener University with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and has a second Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering. She is a licensed Project Management Professional and is currently pursuing an MBA in International Business. She resides in Bechtelsville, Pennsylvania with her Siberian Husky.

Jenny Gourley

Professional Development Officer

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Jenny Gourley is a Senior Evaluator at the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) where she began in 2008. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, Cum Laude, from the University of South Carolina. Ms. Gourley holds a Westinghouse Senior Reactor Operator certification, and has previous work experience with Westinghouse’s Nuclear Fuel Fabrication Facility in South Carpolina and Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in Maryland. Ms. Gourley’s skills include equipment reliability, work management, training and accreditation, analysis and project management. She was one of the co-founders of INPO’s NAYGN Chapter, and is also involved with Women in Nuclear and INPO’s various community service opportunities. Ms. Gourley resides in Atlanta with her husband Bill, an attorney, and their three children. During her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, music, walking the Atlanta-area trails, global news, politics and culture..

Her engagement with NAYGN spans well over 12 years, and began in university through an NAYGN and ANS event that included a visit and tour of V.C. Summer.

As Professional Development Officer, she plans to continue the momentum the organization has gained for providing value-added professional development opportunities. She will focus her efforts on continuing the book club by selecting topics that are pertinent to professional growth, as well as our industry. In addition, she would like to focus on collaboration between chapters in the United States and Canada to identify training opportunities where NAYGN members could join other chapters for professional development and training.

Amanda Lang

Public Information Officer

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Amanda Lang is the nuclear fuel core designer for Oconee Unit 2 at Duke Energy. She is responsible for the fuel reload process including cycle design, physics parameter evaluation, and maneuvering analysis. Before joining Duke Energy, she interned at Exelon Corporation and Idaho National Laboratory. She earned a BS and MS in nuclear engineering from the University of Wisconsin. She is a licensed Professional Engineer in North Carolina.

Amanda sees the public information branch of NAYGN as an integral tool to help the nuclear industry succeed. NAYGN and the voices of young people need to leverage their influence to align policy makers, educators, and environmentalists to the benefits of nuclear energy. She would like to see nuclear energy take center stage as the national and international conversations on climate change ramp up and solutions are proposed.

Paul Balik

Communications Officer

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Paul Balik is a software and mechanical engineer for Westinghouse Electric Company. Paul has been in the nuclear industry for approximately eight years. Paul worked as a Design Engineer before moving into a Team Lead role in the software department. Paul holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.

Paul served as the Westinghouse-PKMJ chapter Vice-President in 2015, and then chapter President in 2016. In 2017, Paul led the continental Benchmarking Committee which prepared, collected data, analyzed, and developed the 2018 Career Report. Paul has also served as the Northeast Regional Lead, and has organized and collaborated on successful joint regional conferences between the Northeast and Atlantic regions.

Ashley Lawrence

US Operating Officer

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Ashley has been a member of NAYGN since she first joined the nuclear industry, starting at Progress Energy. In 2012 she became an officer at her local site, and then in 2015 became the site NAYGN president. She maintained this role until she became the Duke NAYGN Fleet lead elect in 2018, and then the fleet lead in June of 2019.

In her NAYGN roles Ashley has helped push advocacy events with local communities, organize member interactions with site leaders and helped plan screenings of the Chernobyl series with the community.

Matthew Mairinger

Canadian Operating Officer

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Matthew Mairinger was elected as NAYGN Durham vice-president from 2015-2017 and was elected NAYGN Durham president from 2017-2019. He has served on the NAYGN  Benchmarking, Public Information, and Engagement committees. In 2018 he was awarded the NAYGN individual achievement award and during his role as president the NAYGN Durham chapter received the best chapter in Canada award. He is currently a board member with the the Canadian Nuclear Association and is a Young Energy Professional member in the Energy Council of Canada.

Matthew is a Professional Engineer in the province of Ontario and received his Bachelor of Engineering in Nuclear Engineering degree from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in 2014. He works for Ontario Power Generation (OPG) at the Pickering nuclear plant as the Senior Advisor in Stakeholder Relations. He resides in Ajax, Ontario, and enjoys water sports such as surfing, skimboarding, and windsurfing.

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Daniel Deckman

Treasurer

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Daniel joined the nuclear industry as a reactor engineer working for PSEG Nuclear at the Hope Creek Generating Station in 2014. Currently, Daniel is a lead reactor engineer providing expertise on reactivity and nuclear fuel management. In addition, Daniel is the Special Nuclear Material Custodian responsible for control and accountability of all fissile material at Hope Creek. Daniel holds a B.S. in Nuclear Engineering from Pennsylvania State University and is currently pursuing his MBA from Excelsior College.

While at PSEG Nuclear, Daniel served as the NAYGN chapter’s outreach lead, vice chair, chair and currently serves as the past chair.  His vision as Ttreasurer is to ensure NAYGN acts with fiscal responsibility while coordinating and developing fundraisers to empower it. He plans to ensure the financial side of NAYGN is organized and communicated effectively to the board members. Daniel will continue to advocate the importance of NAYGN and its sponsors to ensure our organization remains successful during these economically challenging times for the nuclear industry.

History

North American Young Generation in Nuclear (NAYGN) was established in 1999 by seven young professionals. These young professionals wanted to create an organization that provided professional development, public information, knowledge transfer, recruiting and networking opportunities for the next generation of nuclear leaders.

Fueled by volunteers, the organization has grown to include dozens of continental committees and over a hundred local chapters facilitated by a board of directors affectionately known as The Core. This structure allows the organization to be flexible and serve a wide variety of members. The organization has conducted hundreds of thousands of hours of activities to educate the public and provided development opportunities at the local, regional, national and continental level.

Founders

The founders of NAYGN received the first Founders Award at the
2009 NAYGN Annual Professional Development Workshop.

Paul Wilson

Paul Wilson

Founder

President (1999-2001)

Sama Bilbao y León

Sama Bilbao y León

Founder

Public Information Chair (1999-2005)

Nicole Faulk

Nicole Faulk

Founder

Treasurer (1999-2002)

Emmy Ross

Emmy Ross

Founder

Vice President (1999-2001)
Professional Development Chair (2001-2002)

Undine Shoop

Undine Shoop

Founder

Professional Development Chair (1999-2001)
President (2001-2002)
Past President (2002-2003)

Sonja Simmons

Sonja Simmons

Founder

Alumni Relations (1999-2002)

Mark McIntyre

Mark McIntyre

Canadian Affairs Chair (2000-2005)

Shannon Bragg-Sitton

Shannon Bragg-Sitton

Founder

Communication Chair (1999-2003)
Vice President (2003-2004)
President (2004-2005)
Past President (2005-2006)