Director of Market Settlements, West
Many know Brenda Hopkins as a long-time Settlements employee, but she has worked in other departments during her dedicated years at ACES. Brenda first interviewed for an hourly trader position after being told about the opening by a high school contact who was working at ACES. She also spent a few years in Scheduling before landing in Settlements, where she was for several years. Brenda joined the Settlements team just as ISOs were beginning, and navigating the implementation of PJM and ACES’ nMarket product kept her interest for several years. “Settlements is more than what people think it is. There is so much involved in calculations and formulas. You kind of have to know all the scenarios,” Brenda explains. However, her journey did not stop in Settlements. She wanted to try something new, and spent three years in ACES’ Human Resources department before returning
to Settlements where she is today. “It’s what really clicked,” is how Brenda describes her connection to Settlements.
Brenda’s personal life has slightly resembled her path at ACES. Born in Indiana, she moved to Atlanta, Georgia for a few years after college looking for independence. She worked for a landfill lining manufacturing company before ultimately returning home to Indiana where she found her niche at ACES. Outside of work, Brenda enjoys spending time with her family and raising three children, including teenage twins. In her free-time, she likes to be outdoors, frequently hiking with her family at Turkey Run State Park or biking through local trails and parks. She uses her personal time to read mysteries, explore new cooking techniques, and work on her new garden.
Brenda is currently the Director of Market Settlements, West. She is focused on CAISO, although she has had experience with SPP and ERCOT recently, as well. She enjoys leading a small team and working with the other ISO teams exploring new ways to reduce manual reporting requirements and automating some of the numerous reports that Settlements processes regularly. The biggest change Brenda recognizes between when she originally started in Settlements and her current experience with the department is the move from only doing shadow settlements to providing more detailed business intelligence reporting to explain the data. Brenda says their goal is to “help our Clients get the reports that can aid them in their processes.” In the end, Brenda is a curious person and simply loves problem solving. “I ask so many questions. Once I understand the foundation of something, I can grow a lot faster.” She also loves teaching others. She tries to teach people the way she likes to learn: “Start from the bottom and work your way up.”
“ACES has been a great company for me personally. They’ve allowed me a lot of opportunities going into areas I didn’t have experience in. They had confidence and faith in me and so I definitely appreciate that,” says Brenda. Her advice for new employees is to “find what it is within your own job that intrigues you and you may find a passion that you didn’t even know existed. Stay focused, don’t let distractions get in the way. Keep moving forward and constantly dig and it’ll help you learn more about your job and what other people do. Don’t be afraid to reach out to other groups, ask questions, and share your
own knowledge and expertise.”