Courtney has had a connection to electric cooperatives most of her life. Growing up, her father managed municipal and cooperative utilities in Tennessee and South Carolina. “I remember being a kid and making chili and brownies for linemen when they were out doing restoration work. The linemen would work 14-hour or longer days and not have anywhere to get food because of the power outages. To help out, families of the utility would come
together to help prepare meals for the linemen. It was such a cool experience and truly showed the dedication that utilities have to the communities they serve,” Courtney recalls. Courtney continued to engage with the energy industry throughout college and law school, law clerking for the Office of Regulatory Staff in South Carolina, where she assisted attorneys that represented the public interest against utilities in cases before the Public Service Commission of South Carolina.
Courtney began working at ACES in the Contracts department in 2011, shortly after graduating from the Indiana University McKinney School of Law. “ACES had an open position in the Contracts department, which had previously been held by an attorney. That position helped me understand what various departments in ACES did and how everything we do fits together,” Courtney
says. In 2016, she shifted to her current role of Corporate Counsel, where she assists ACES’ New Business Development team with negotiating agreements and works on a wide variety of other types of legal requests from ACES staff. “ACES’ Legal team works on a lot of complex issues that do not always have an easy or direct answer,” says Courtney. “There’s always something new to learn
and new ways to better myself professionally. I’m grateful for my mentors and having a great team to support me. Everyone has been so gracious with their time and supportive as I work to become a better attorney,” she adds.
Courtney is a big advocate for mentoring at ACES, and is a mentor for two ACES employees. “It can be difficult being the newest person on a team and constantly comparing your beginning to someone else’s middle or end. It is so helpful having someone to remind you of your aptitude when you are having doubts. Everyone can benefit from having a relationship with someone that
wants to bring them up,” says Courtney. “I certainly have benefited from numerous relationships where people were and still are interested in making me better. At ACES, we are all in it together, and everyone wants you to succeed. It is the same welcoming and friendly environment that I experienced growing up around cooperatives, and is what drove me to want to work in this industry.”
Courtney says she also enjoys the community involvement and other opportunities ACES provides its employees. Courtney is the Vice President of the Brownsburg chapter, ETA IOTA, of Kappa, Kappa, Kappa, which is a women’s philanthropic group that only exists in the bounds of Indiana. Kappa, Kappa, Kappa’s mission is to bring women into close, unselfish relationships for the promotion of charity, culture, and education. She is also part of a group called The ACES Network, which is a team of ACES employees that try to promote a more diverse and inclusive culture and host ACES’ annual Women in Energy Forum.
Courtney takes any opportunity to travel and plans at least one international trip with her husband each year. “Paris is probably my
favorite place that I have visited. The people were all very kind and the food was amazing. We are going back to France later this
year, and are hoping to go on a safari in Africa next year,” Courtney says. “We also really enjoy the U.S. Virgin Island of St. John, and
try to go there once a year. The beaches are beautiful and it is so peaceful,” she adds.
One perk of working for ACES that Courtney enjoys is the flexible work hours. “My husband is also an attorney and since we are both at a stage where we are trying to grow in our careers, it is rare that we can both be home before 7 p.m., so we flip our day from what a lot of people do. We wake up early every day, go to the gym, cook breakfast, do chores, play Frisbee with our dog, and spend time together. I start my work day at 9:00 a.m., but have already accomplished a lot by that time,” says Courtney. “I am so fortunate to have this work environment as an attorney. Most attorney roles do not allow for a healthy work life integration and the open-door policy of our Senior Officers is practically unheard of,” she adds.
Courtney’s desire to constantly improve and help others are part of what make her a perfect fit for ACES.