Annette Finsterbusch, President and CEO of EnPower, Inc., has been named CEO/Leader of the Year by Girls in Tech (GIT) Phoenix, a nonprofit organization committed to supporting women in tech in the greater Phoenix area.
The award was announced at the annual Girls in Tech Phoenix Gala on August 20, 2021. The event also included keynote speakers Michelle Cirocco, Chief Responsibility Officer at Televerde, and Wim Stocks, Head of Partnerships and Commercial at Belong Gaming. Event proceeds fund scholarships and outreach programs that support GIT’s mission. While Annette was unfortunately unable to attend the event in person, our team at EnPower is honored to celebrate her achievement and help share the GIT mission of empowering the next generation of female leaders!
“This is certainly a surprise and an honor,” said Annette. “I started my career as a geologist in the oil field, which was even more male dominated (than tech). What I find now is that the battery scientists leading battery development for these huge companies are women. It’s phenomenal. It’s huge progress in my lifetime.”
At EnPower, Annette is building a world-class team that celebrates diversity, including women in STEM. “STEM education is critical. I think to solve this problem we have to start teaching girls science and math from the beginning, we have to de-genderize it,” says Annette.
Annette is a natural connector, always seeking to pay it forward to those around her. “The best thing that I can do at this point in my career is to mentor women where possible.”
As part of the Kauffman Fellows program, Annette mentors Lindsay Knight (Chicago Ventures) from Class 23. “Through Kauffman Fellows, Annette offered to serve as a coach and mentor, and our professional relationship quickly turned into a friendship,” said Lindsay. “She has a gift for seeing and drawing out potential in people; in coupling difficult feedback with true caring. Over the years, she’s gently nudged me, both personally and professionally, and it’s paid off – I’ve been grateful to have her as a friend and mentor.”
Her leadership at EnPower has attracted local talent as well. Louise Hardman, Director of Strategic Marketing, said, “I joined EnPower because I saw an opportunity to learn from a female leader who I knew would be a role model and mentor throughout my personal and professional life.”
As a three-time startup CEO and former venture investor, Annette has a wealth of experience to share with fellow innovators in Phoenix. She routinely participates in Arizona Technology Council events, has served as a mentor for the Arizona Innovation Challenge, and participated as a judge for Venture Madness. On a national stage, Annette has been a member of the National Science Foundation’s SBIR/STTR Advisory Committee since 2014 and was named the chair in 2019, where she works to support small businesses developing the next generation of technology. “The only way to be an integral part of a network is to pay it forward constantly, to be an important asset to that network,” says Annette.
About Girls in Tech Phoenix
Girls in Tech Phoenix was started with the vision of creating a community of like-minded women who could support and encourage one another right here in Phoenix. Membership is free and provides access to in-person and virtual workshops, conferences, training, and mentoring. The Phoenix chapter is part of the global Girls in Tech community of 70,000 people around the world. It is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
About EnPower, Inc.
EnPower, Inc. is a lithium-ion battery company building cells that solve the trade-off between energy and power. EnPower’s patented multilayer electrodes enable high energy density cells to repeatedly fast charge without causing degradation or capacity fade in the batteries, a critical challenge for the mass adoption of electric vehicles. EnPower is headquartered in Phoenix, AZ, where a 240-kWh R&D line enables rapid prototyping and customer sampling. The company is planning a multi-phase expansion plan starting in early 2022 to scale manufacturing capacity in the U.S. up to 4 GWh.
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