From CFO to CEM

Maryanne McGowan has been in the energy industry for almost 25 years, but her career started in finance. As a CPA by trade, she loved working with energy engineers and decided to make a career switch. She finds humor that she went from the 15th floor of a skyrise in the city to a coal plant many miles outside of town to follow her passion. After working as a CFO of a major generating station for Duke Energy, she transitioned to strategy, directly handling customers’ feedback and how Duke Energy could accommodate their needs.

During this role, she was encouraged to pursue her CEM Certification. Maryanne was honored to take on this certification, knowing that her company valued the credentials, and she had been working with AEE since Duke Energy was a corporate member. She said, “I was a little hesitant because I wasn’t sure I would be able to perform on the technical side and pass the exam, but through the good fortune of grit and hard work, I was able to conquer the technical side!” Her key to success: having a study group. She worked with engineers, teaching them the finance side while they taught her the technical side.

When asked how the CEM has helped her in her career, she stated, “The CEM adds credibility to my work. It offers an external source that acknowledges my knowledge and experience level of the work I am providing to clients. We are very fortunate that AEE has aggressively pursued additional areas that recognize and honor the CEM Certification. When the Department of Energy came on board, I felt like that was a giant leap forward to what the CEM can offer. Also, the CEM is international crosses all boundaries and barriers.” She has been a CEM for over ten years now and continues to see value in her certification.

Maryanne is the first woman to serve on the CEM Board and is delighted to represent women in energy. She said, “My experience with AEE is that they have always been on the forthright of supporting women in this male-dominated industry. In my younger years, I was very frustrated by the barriers to opportunities. So I think that it’s great that they take on that role of having women in leadership.” Maryanne also serves on her local chapter and CWEEL board.