NECEC Announces Deval Patrick as Clean Energy Back to Work Challenge Awards Celebration Keynote Speaker, Selects Challenge Finalists

BOSTON - NECEC is pleased to announce former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick as the keynote speaker for its Clean Energy Back to Work Challenge Awards Celebration on November 12, and finalists for the Back to Work Challenge, an initiative launched to highlight innovative projects from clean energy organizations that successfully adapted their business practices amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

NECEC also announced that Boston Baroque will perform during the event on November 12 and attendees will hear from Boston Baroque Executive Director Jennifer Ritvo Hughes about how the orchestra undertook its own back-to-work innovation to continue its performance season virtually.

“The Clean Energy Back to Work Challenge is an opportunity for NECEC to showcase how the Northeast clean energy sector has implemented innovative solutions and approaches in order to continue working safely during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said NECEC President Peter Rothstein. “We are excited to hear from Governor Patrick, who has long been a clean energy champion, and to announce our Challenge finalists, whose projects demonstrate the important role the sector will play in driving our region’s economic recovery in the coming months.”

Under Governor Patrick’s leadership, Massachusetts took aggressive action to combat climate change, while growing the clean energy sector by tens of thousands of jobs. Governor Patrick signed An Act Relative to Green Jobs, under which Massachusetts became one of the first states to pass legislation focused on climate-jobs. As a result, Massachusetts is now a leader in developing solar power and supporting offshore wind. Under Governor Patrick, Massachusetts was the top-ranked state for energy efficiency for four years in a row.

NECEC announced the Clean Energy Back to Work Challenge initiative in June and invited businesses and organizations to nominate their best practices, pilots, innovations, and model projects to be considered for awards in specific categories. The finalists were selected from 22 exciting nominees and include:

Customer Acquisition Award

Innovating Remote Work & Technology Solutions Award

On-Premises Project Construction & Installation Award

Greenhouse Gas Reduction & Public Health Mitigation Award

Community Engagement During the Pandemic Crisis Award

Winners will be announced during the Back to Work Challenge Awards Celebration, an event that offers attendees the opportunity to learn from the finalists and winners about their efforts to adapt how they work during the pandemic, network in virtual breakout rooms with colleagues and friends, and celebrate clean energy back to work progress.

In honor of these finalists, NECEC will be offering a sale of 25% off ticket prices to the Back to Work Challenge event. Tickets can be purchased at this rate until polls close at 8 p.m. on November 3. Make sure to get your "virtual table" group of 10 tickets and sign up your group to enjoy virtual breakouts with your colleagues and friends during the awards celebration.

About Governor Deval Patrick

Originally from the South Side of Chicago, Patrick came to Massachusetts at 14, when he was awarded a scholarship to attend Milton Academy. After Harvard College & Law School, he clerked for a federal appellate judge and then launched a career as an attorney and business executive, becoming a staff attorney at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, a partner at two Boston law firms and a senior executive at two Fortune 50 companies. In 1994, President Clinton appointed Patrick to the nation's top civil rights post, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. In 2006, in his first bid for public office, he was elected as the first African-American governor of Massachusetts. As governor, Patrick expanded access to health care to over 98 percent of residents, launched initiatives for clean energy, steered the state to a 25-year high in employment, and made unprecedented investments in public schools. He was a candidate for the 2020 Democratic nomination for President. His platform included opportunity and economic growth, reforming our healthcare and criminal justice system, an accessible and functioning democracy, and collaborative global leadership for the 21st century. His next step in public life is TogetherFUND, a political action committee to support progressive politics and grassroots groups working to drive turnout and engagement among disenfranchised and marginalized voters.


NECEC is the premier voice of businesses building a world-class clean energy hub in the Northeast, helping clean energy companies start, scale, and succeed with our unique business, innovation, and policy leadership. NECEC includes the Northeast Clean Energy Council (a nonprofit business member organization) and NECEC Institute (a nonprofit focused on industry research, innovation, policy development, and communications initiatives). NECEC brings together business leaders and key stakeholders to engage in influential policy discussions and business initiatives while building connections that propel the clean energy industry forward.

MEDIA CONTACT: Meggie Quackenbush,


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