WICE Member Spotlight: Aubrey Ohanian, Attorney, Harris Beach PLLC
Welcome to the April 2020 edition of our Member Spotlight, highlighting WICE members around the city and state.
1.What are your job duties?
As a member of Harris Beach’s Energy Industry Team, I advise our clients daily on a wide variety of issues ranging from siting and permitting transmission or generation assets to compliance with the Public Service Law. Given the diversity of our client base, our team is fortunate to be actively involved in virtually every subset of energy work—the sale of regulated assets (e.g., an electric generation facility) and stocks (e.g., the stock acquisition of a utility); onshore and offshore wind, solar, and transmission development; submetering of electricity in multifamily buildings; energy service companies; utility rates; financing approvals, etc. Aside from our team’s core energy-regulatory counsel, Harris Beach’s Energy Industry Team is staffed with attorneys in many other practice areas, including corporate, tax, labor and employment, commercial real estate, and litigation. The depth of our team allows us to serve our clients’ needs beyond just energy regulatory matters.
2.Tell us about a project that you are currently working on.
I am fortunate to spend time working with New York Transco LLC (“Transco”). Transco’s New York Energy Solution (“NYES”) Project was selected from among competing proposals by the New York Independent System Operator, Inc. (“NYISO”) in April 2019 as the preferred project to modernize and upgrade New York State’s energy transmission network from Schodack in Rensselaer County to Pleasant Valley in Dutchess County. Following this selection, our team worked closely with Transco to prepare and file an application with the Public Service Commission pursuant to Article VII of the Public Service Law seeking permission to construct, operate, and maintain the NYES Project. As we continue to advance the NYES Project’s Article VII application, our broader Energy Industry Team continues to work with Transco to secure the necessary land rights for the NYES Project, negotiate its engineering and construction management contracts, review employment contracts, and provide general regulatory advice regarding Transco’s existing regulated facilities.
3.How do you balance your work / family life?
I have to admit that as a young female attorney in private practice, balancing work and family life did not come easy for me. Striking that balance has always required a lot of focus and commitment. Along the way, it became easier for me to prioritize finding that balance, particularly after I got married and my career advanced. Overall, I think it is critically important to find a job that fosters and promotes a work/life balance and staffs teams appropriately to afford that balance.
4.Please list your education and work experience.
Siena College (Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Minor in Business), summa cum laude, May 2011
Albany Law School (Juris Doctor), summa cum laude, May 2014
Hiscock and Barclay (now Barclay Damon), Commercial Litigation and Labor & Employment, September 2014-March 2016
Harris Beach, Energy Industry Team, March 2016-Present
5.What are your hobbies / interests outside of work?
I am currently obsessed with my Peleton bike and the fact that my friends, colleagues, and clients are also joining the Peleton family. My weekend rides are more exciting now that I get to share them with people I know! I also love spending time outdoors gardening (this year’s garlic is already up!) and hiking.
6.Please tell us how you got involved with / heard about WICE.
On my first day at Harris Beach, Bill Flynn told me about WICE and how joining was a “must” to meet other women in the energy industry. He was right—WICE continues to be a terrific resource for me. I now work closely with some of the women I met at my first WICE conference in 2016 and consider many others to be trusted mentors and friends.
7.What book are you currently reading?
I am in a book club started by my former Siena roommates. Our club’s last two books were Josie Silver’s One Day in December (a great beach read) and The Tattooist of Auschwitz: A Novel by Heather Morris (a moving story of hope and courage).
8.What advice do you give other women working in the male dominated field of energy?
Find and trust your own voice.
If you are interested in being highlighted in this series on our blog, please contact WICE Communications and Marketing Manager, Erin Gryniak, at firstname.lastname@example.org.