Maria co-founded Southern Energy Management (SEM) in 2001. Since then, she has helped pioneer the residential energy efficiency and solar industries in North Carolina and beyond. Maria is deeply committed to sustainable business practices and believes that businesses have the greatest power to drive positive change. In 2009, she led Southern Energy Management to become a Certified B Corporation, one of the first 250 companies to make the commitment to measuring their impact in using business as a driver to solve the world’s social and environmental challenges. Maria has been recognized as a worldwide “B Corp Champion” and her company achieved “Best for the World” status in 2012, 2013 and 2017, ranking among the most impactful Certified B Corps worldwide.

In 2015, her desire to help other purpose-driven leaders succeed led her to train as a Professional EOS® (Entrepreneurial Operating System®) Implementer. With her new company, Maria Kingery & Co., Maria draws on her decades of experience as an entrepreneur and leader in the clean energy space to help others become their best and expand their impact as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Maria’s leadership work has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy, MIT and Stanford. Among other awards, in 2016 she was honored with the C3E Women in Energy Entrepreneurial Leadership Award, a nationally competitive award that recognizes mid-career women for outstanding leadership and achievement in driving clean energy progress.

Maria is actively engaged with a number of organizations dedicated to bolstering the sustainable business community. She has served as President of Entrepreneur’s Organization and the NC League of Conservation Voters, and Chair of the NC Sustainable Energy Association. She currently serves as a board member for Amicus Solar Cooperative. She also hosts an annual leadership workshop for rising senior high school girls to prepare them to make the most of their current and future opportunities.