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.
Christine Johnsen is a Duke Energy Nuclear Fuels Engineer who provides clean air energy to her neighbors in the Carolinas. She is the current President of NAYGN. Her passion lies in the essential role that nuclear plays in our continent’s diverse energy mix.
Johnsen joined NAYGN in 2010 after graduating North Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nuclear Engineering. She began her NAYGN leadership as the Public Information Chair of her local Chapter and has since served as a Chapter Lead, Carolinas Regional Lead, USA Affairs Chair, and Vice President. Grateful for the development opportunities and inspiration that NAYGN has provided in her career, Johnsen is excited to see where we can take NAYGN next.
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
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.
Professional Development ChairEmail
Cayla Thompson is a training instructor for Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar Nuclear Plant. Cayla earned a B.S. in Mass Communications at East Tennessee State University and Masters of Public Administration degree from Columbia Southern University. While at Watts Bar, Cayla has served as the NAYGN chapter vice lead and is currently serving as the chapter’s lead. During this time the Watts Bar chapter has increased its membership by 30% and won the 2015 Best Chapter in the Southeast award. She has also been nominated and received two Excellence awards during her time with NAYGN.
Cayla’s vision for the PD committee is to ensure that all members and organizations within NAYGN benefit from interactive and engaging professional development sessions. By offering professional development sessions, webinars, conference sessions that contribute to membership career development, we can continue to grow the NAYGN organization, promote our industry, and improve our professional capabilities.
Public Information ChairEmail
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 is a software and mechanical engineer for Rolls-Royce Nuclear Engineering Services. Paul has been in the nuclear industry for approximately seven years; mostly with Rolls-Royce. Paul began his nuclear career with Westinghouse. At Rolls-Royce, 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 Rolls-Royce 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.
US Affairs ChairEmail
Nick Wilson joined the nuclear industry with Dominion Energy in their Nuclear Engineering and Fuel Department. He has a B.S. and M.E. in Nuclear Engineering from Purdue and N.C. State, respectively, an MBA from Averett University, and recently has been licensed as a Professional Engineer in Virginia. His role at Dominion consists of managing fuel related projects, including the reload analyses for North Anna Power Station.
Canadian Affairs ChairEmail
Matthew Mairinger was elected as NAYGN Durham vice-president from 2015-2017 and was elected NAYGN Durham president in 2017. He is currently on the benchmarking committee and is the Canadian Regional Lead.
Matt graduated from University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) with a degree in Nuclear Engineering in 2014. He now works full time for Ontario Power Generation (OPG) at the Pickering nuclear plant as the Senior Advisor – Stakeholder Relations. He resides in Ajax, Ontario and enjoys water sports such as surfing, skimboarding, and windsurfing.
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.
Core positions available!
Join the NAYGN Core and take your involvement to the next level!
Committee volunteers needed!
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like more information on opportunities to get involved.
NAYGN is run entirely by volunteers; there is always a chance to get involved!
Let us help you find the right opportunity.
The founders of NAYGN received the first Founders Award at the
2009 NAYGN Annual Professional Development Workshop.
Sama Bilbao y León
Public Information Chair (1999-2005)
Vice President (1999-2001)
Professional Development Chair (2001-2002)
Professional Development Chair (1999-2001)
Past President (2002-2003)
Alumni Relations (1999-2002)
Canadian Affairs Chair (2000-2005)
Communication Chair (1999-2003)
Vice President (2003-2004)
Past President (2005-2006)