WOMEN TO WATCH

Elizabeth Solano

Regional Director External Affairs
Midcontinent Independent System Operator Inc.

For the past 12 years, I have focused my career in an evolving industry vital to our country’s strength. As regional director of external affairs for MISO, I facilitate relationships and provide strategic counsel among executives, industry leaders, government officials and technical experts to solve complex business challenges and deliver solutions that enable the efficient operation of the electric power grid. MISO ensures efficient access to reliable energy, manages one of the world’s largest energy markets and has a footprint that spans 15 U.S. states and Manitoba.

PRESSING QUESTIONS

Best career moment so far:

The opportunity to implement a unique program that fostered MISO’s success. As the youngest member of our South Region External Affairs team, I acted independently to develop and implement a strategic plan that met key organizational objectives.

How I knew this was my passion:

I wanted to make a broad impact. The electric industry is the backbone of society; it touches every aspect of people’s lives. I love being a part of something that improves the quality of life and our communities.

Best advice I ever received:

You can’t control whether you are the smartest person in the room or the most talented, but you can control how hard you work, and that really is the differentiating factor.

I wish I knew how to:

Speak more languages fluently.

Advice for my 18-year-old self:

In a world where you can be anything, always be yourself.

My typical workday:

No day is ever the same, and I love that each day brings new challenges and opportunities. My workday starts very early, ends very late and is packed full of opportunities and possibilities to identify and create value.

Biggest challenges in my career:

Statistically, 22 percent of the electric utility industry is made up of women. This makes me stand out, which is both an opportunity and a challenge that I gladly meet with enthusiasm. I am passionate about advancing STEM education in Arkansas.

How I define success:

Knowing I made the effort to rise to the best of my capabilities for my organization, my family and myself.

IT'S ALL IN THE DETAILS

Neighborhood you live in

East End

Hometown

Sheridan

Last good read

“The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls

Favorite Food

Locally grown, responsibly sourced

Favorite Lunch Spot

Any place with friends

First thing you do at the office each morning

Greet everyone with a smile

Last splurge

Native American art while traveling for work in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Hobbies

Support social change through volunteerism, travel

Dream Vacation

I don’t dream about vacations, I take them!

Favorite Song

“Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles

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