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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives

Jennifer Gremmert

CEO & Executive Director

Energy Outreach Colorado

Location: Denver, CO

Founded: 1989

Industry: Nonprofit/Energy

From an early age, Jennifer Gremmert knew she wanted to be of service to people who are struggling with hardships. Her vision has always been to find solutions that would prevent the cycle of poverty and inequality that vulnerable families experience.

Gremmert has made a career out of that pursuit in her role as CEO and executive director of Energy Outreach Colorado (EOC). She joined the nonprofit in 2002 as deputy director and was promoted to executive director in 2018. She now leads a network of industry, state and local partners to help vulnerable families afford their home energy costs.

“The work we do to achieve more equity in energy policy is rewarding, but it is full of tension,” Gremmert said. “Opposing sides to the issue have a lot at stake due to large changes to the overall energy and utility sectors. EOC’s work sits directly in the middle of that tension, and it has been critical to take the time to understand the perspectives of all parties.

“One of the key personal philosophies that I have always shared with my staff is that when you hear the word ‘no,’ and you fundamentally believe that it should be a ‘yes,’ that ‘no’ is often the result of a rule, a law or an opinion. Any of those three things can be changed with the appropriate amount of data, time and patience. This philosophy proved itself accurate when in 2021 EOC drafted legislation that will ultimately generate about $30 million a year for energy assistance and efficiency programs benefiting vulnerable Colorado families. I had worked to pass this same legislation in 2004, but it was vetoed by the governor at the time. While tremendously disappointing, the patience and systematic advocacy to achieve our ultimate success was very satisfying.”

Under Gremmert’s leadership since 2018, EOC has grown from 28 employees with a budget of $25 million to an organization with 43 employees and an annual budget of $55 million. EOC is the only nonprofit in the United States with 21 consecutive 4-star ratings from Charity Navigator.

“Jennifer is incredibly proud of the organization’s staff, board, programs and commitment to our mission of ensuring that all Coloradans can afford their home energy needs,” the nonprofit said.

Gremmert has worked for numerous nonprofit organizations and public universities, including the national office of Junior Achievement, Up With People, the University of Arizona and the University of California. She has served on the board of directors of the National Energy and Utility Affordability Coalition and as chair of both the Governor’s Commission on Low-Income Energy Assistance and the Colorado Utility Consumer Board. She is the chair of the Colorado Clean Energy Fund, Colorado’s green bank. In 2017 and 2020, the Denver Business Journal recognized Gremmert as one of the Top Women in Energy.

Presented by:

Jennifer loves to cook, read and travel. She is also a very talented knitter.


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