Membership Newsletter: Post-Conference Recap, Photo Contest Winner, and Committee Opportunities

Recap and Takeaways

Another year and another great conference!  Shout out to the Professional Development committee, led by Cayla Thompson, for their hard work, planning, communications, and everything else you all did to make this conference a success!

The conference got off to a great start with a keynote address from the NRC Chairman, Kristine Svinicki.  During her speech, she had a resounding message for us all, “Don’t wait for the future, you are the now.  You have the ability, you have the power to make the changes you see.” 

After the keynote, our now NAYGN past-President, Christine Johnsen, provided an update on how we performed as an organization in 2018 by highlighting the end of the year report and acknowledging all of the contributors that make our organization a top performer.  She then ended by echoing Kristine’s previous words and reciting a quote from Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the word.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

We then jumped into “lightning” talks where five of our current core members each highlighted areas for us to focus on during the conference and going forward.


Once the opening plenary ended, the workshops and sessions began.  The workshops covered the following diverse and wide-ranging topics:

  • Maximize Your Leadership Presence and Build Momentum Around Your Personal Brand
  • The Impact of AI and Data Analytics in Nuclear
    • Joan Knight: Innovation Director, Exelon Generation
    • Haoyu Wang: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Argonne National Laboratory
    • Xenia Mastropetrou: Assistant Marketing Manager, Ecolab
  • Practice in Politics: Navigating Nuclear Policy
    • Dr. Ashley Finan: Executive Director, Nuclear Innovation Alliance
    • Allison Graves: Director, Federal Governmental Affairs, Entergy Operations, Inc.
    • Scott Greenlee: Senior Vice President of Engineering and Technical Services, Exelon Nuclear
    • Craig Piercy: Washington Representative, American Nuclear Society
  • Nuclear: Not Just Energy!
    • Abbey Donahue: Engineering Manager, SHINE Medical Technologies
    • Zabrina Johal: Director of Business Development, General Atomics
    • Tina Taylor: Senior Director R&D and Deputy Chief Nuclear Officer, Electric Power Research Institute
  • Nuclear in Motion: Fostering an Innovation Culture
    • Kimberly Corn: Manager, Innovations, Institute of Nuclear Power Operations
    • Ryan Osero: Senior Portfolio Director, IDEO
    • Jason Pastras: Innovation Technology Manager, Southern Company
  • Turning Nuclear Words Into Action
    • Madeline Monaco: Speaker, Nuclear Matters
    • Eric Meyer: Founder and Executive Director, Generation Atomic
    • Bill Murray: Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs & Communications, Dominion Energy
  • Future Nuclear Technology and Applications
    • Lenka Kollar: Director of Strategy and External Relations, NuScale Power
    • Kirk Sorensen: President and Chief Technologist, Flibe Energy
    • Dr. Finis Southworth: Chief Technology Officer, NGNP Industry Alliance
  • NAYGN Past-Presidents Panel
    • Liz McAndrew-Benavides: Training Manager, Electric Power Research Institute
    • Duncan Robinson: Manager, Nuclear Fuels Engineering, Duke Energy
    • Paul Wilson: Professor of Nuclear Engineering, University of Wisconsin – Madison
    • Kristin Zaitz: Manager, Decommissioning Engineering, Pacific Gas & Electric Corp.

There were many great takeaways from these sessions, but one quote holds true from the Past-Presidents panel, “When others just talk, NAYGN does!

Upon conclusion of the sessions and workshops, we handed out the NAYGN Annual Awards!  Congratulations to all our award winners!

Award Type Recipient
Individual Achievement Award Toni Sistrunk Hilliard
Paul Rodi
Elliott Wilson
Nick Wilson
Christy Fletcher
Anne McGovern
Tyler Andrews
Future Award Mark White
Nathan Zohner
Doug Kinsman
Best in Region - Canada Chalk River
Best in Region - Carolinas Duke Energy
Best in Region - Atlantic Dominion-Innsbrook
Best in Region - Midwest Exelon West
Best in Region - Northeast Exelon East
Best in Region - Southeast ENERCON -Baton Rouge
Best in Region - West Palo Verde Generating Station
Best in Knowledge Transfer and Retention Duke Energy
Best in Professional Development TVA - Watts Bar
Best in Public Information Exelon East
Best Overall Chapter Exelon East

Best Overall Chapter Winner, Exelon East:
Christine Johnsen (NAYGN Past-President), Monica Beistline, Quinn Vandermeersch

To end the conference, our current President, Lee Causey,
provided an outlook for the future and how we can work together to accomplish
great things.  As a volunteer based
organization, we thrive on the passion you all have for this industry and NAYGN
would not be possible if it wasn’t for you.

A more detailed recap will be provided in the upcoming weeks
as well as a post-conference survey. 
Once available, we will also be providing a link to the professional
photos taken during the sessions and ceremonies.

Lastly, thank you to all the session leads, presenters, panelists, and contributors that made this day happen!  If you’d like more information on the sessions or workshops, please reach out to or

Photo Contest

For the second year in a row, NAYGN has held a photo contest on Instagram and Facebook during the national conference.  This year, using the hashtag #NAYGN19 we asked conference attendees to post their pictures with the potential to win an NAYGN duffle bag.  Upon careful review against the closely guarded grading rubric, the winner is….  Jaspreet Rehal!  Congrats to you and your group!  Please contact to collect your prize.

NAYGN Photo Contest Winnner: #NAYGN19

For more awesome pictures and news, please follow us on
Facebook and Instagram!



20 for 20
Chapter Takeover

As you may be aware, NAYGN is celebrating its 20th Birthday this year!  To commemorate this accomplishment, we’ve already had a star-studded birthday party and taken some awesome pictures: Photo Booth Picutres.

Now, we’d like to take this celebration to the next level!  We are calling all chapters to participate in the ’20 for 20 Chapter Takeover’.  Beginning, the week of July 14th we will be giving your chapter the control of the NAYGN social media accounts to post, share, and update the organization on all the great things happening at your site.

If you’d like to be involved in this takeover, please contact!


You may or may not be aware, but NAYGN is not simply local chapters and the core.  We have so many more opportunities for you to get involved!  The NAYGN committees are a critical gear of the organization and routinely produce quality and engaging content.  From the development of our children’s book series to authoring a bi-annual career report, the work our committees perform provides an opportunity for you to grow, learn, and continue to engage with your peers.   For more details on our committees and who to contact, please see below.

Committee Contact
Professional Development Conference
Nuclear 101
Public Information Communication  
Social Media

Hill Day –
Continue the Momentum!

Putting your passion to work on Capitol Hill is the most
powerful action you can take on behalf of the nuclear industry, and 200 of our
members advocated for shaping the future of this crucial energy source while in
Washington DC last week.

Thank you to our partner, Nuclear Matters, for assisting in the organization of Hill Day.  Nuclear Matters is the national coalition that works to inform the public and policymakers about the clear benefits of nuclear energy.

Want to be more involved in nuclear advocacy? Sign up to join Nuclear Matters to learn more about how you can continue to take action, and check them out on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date on the latest industry news and resources.