by Rebecca Ponton, contributor to Forbes
“Why waste a good crisis?” has long been the motto of Katie Mehnert, founder and CEO of Pink Petro, and the universe has been happy to oblige with a number of crises. A two-time cancer survivor, she also survived the wrath of Hurricane Harvey, which destroyed her home and her business. Having just celebrated the fifth anniversary of Pink Petro, launched in 2015 to coincide with International Women’s Day, and on the eve of her annual Energy 2.0 conference (formerly HERWorld), she made the decision to move forward with the event, despite several other major events choosing to cancel in the wake of the coronavirus.
The first HERWorld conference was held in 2016 at Halliburton’s headquarters in Houston and streamed to “a few thousand people across the world,” Mehnert recalls. This year, she’s hoping to reach 100,000 people with her Energy 2.0 “un-conference,” March 10th and 11th, which includes a live event in Houston, a simultaneous broadcast in Denver, and live-streaming to online registrants.
“Energy education and engagement should to be accessible to everyone,” Mehnert asserts. “We put a huge focus on the quality of speakers and bring in speakers from within industry and external to the industry – in the past, we’ve had Randi Zuckerberg, formerly with Facebook, and Dr. Jen Welter, the first female coach in the NFL, and this year we’re going to have Judaline Cassidy, an AOL Maker” and founder and president of Tools & Tiaras.