About WiNUP

Our History

The current Ohio Chapter was chartered in 1990 as a chapter of the Electrical Women’s Round Table, beginning with 10 initial members. The founders included Judith Wessel, who would go on to become the national president in 1992-1993. The first chair, Donna Kowalenko, would be national president for the 1997-1998 term and would lead the national board in its review of the organization’s mission and its objectives. The review ultimately resulted in the member-approved organizational name change to WiNUP in 1998.



In 2010, a well-organized membership drive grew the membership to more than 200, taking the organization to new heights. The chapter now has members from electric, natural gas and other allied fields, making Ohio one of the largest WiNUP chapters. 8 of WiNUP’s 51 national and international presidents have hailed from the Ohio chapter with numerous members holding other international officer, board or committee positions, including WiNUP’s fifth executive director, Claudia Powell, a past international treasurer.



The Ohio Chapter has hosted three international conferences – 1997, 2005 and 2012. Members also benefit from an active mentoring program that began with a pilot in 2009. Ohio Chapter’s programs focus on various aspects of the utility business. Speakers include executives and others from Ohio electric and gas utilities, and representatives from regulatory agencies. The chapter also provides industry tour opportunities for members. Community service projects have included working at local soup kitchens, and animal shelters, and the chapter’s annual clothing drive to provide professional clothing to women getting back into the work force.

2018 Goals

  • Continue to recruit potential members outside of AEP to expand our network, while retaining our existing membership.

  • Develop our Internet strategy including the revamping of our website and creating a Facebook page.

  • Establish a programming calendar that support the theme of "Striving to Succeed — powering the tools and connections needed to make the most out of one's career."

IRS Code

Women’s International Network of Utility Professionals is a not-for-profit 501 (c) 6 organization under the IRS Code. Section 501 (c) (6) of the IRS code provides for the exemption of business leagues – which is an association of individuals with a common business interest. Contributions to WiNUP are not tax deductible as a charitable donation. Contributions may qualify as a business expense. Donors should consult a tax professional.

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Our Mission

The Women's International Network of Utility Professionals is an organization providing a link for developing and recognizing professionals involved with utility business trends, issues, products and services.


Our Objectives

To provide opportunities for professional development of members.

To provide networking and mentorship among members.

To provide recognition and visibility for members and business partners.

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