Maria co-founded Southern Energy Management with her husband Bob 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 (both for-profit and non-profit) have the greatest power to drive positive change. In 2009, she led SEM to become a Certified B Corporation, one of the first 250 companies in the world 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 works with organizations and individuals, drawing upon 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 US Department of Energy, MIT and Stanford: 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. She has also received the Charlotte Business Journal’s Energy Leadership Award, and the NC Building Performance Association’s Industry Pioneer Award.
Maria has also been actively engaged with a number of organizations dedicated to bolstering the sustainable business community. She has served as President of the NC League of Conservation Voters, and Chair of the NC Sustainable Energy Association. She currently serves as a board chair for Amicus Solar Cooperative, a national collective of 50 of the top independent solar companies in the US, and is an Area Director for the US East Region of Entrepreneurs Organization, where she is helping to lead a global initiative to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She also teaches a leadership course to graduate students enrolled in Duke University’s Environmental Leadership Program.
Maria and her husband live with their son in Raleigh, NC and when they’re not working, the family enjoys traveling to the world’s most beautiful places, adventurous cooking, and dreaming up new businesses to pursue in the future.