White Plains Resident Named Woman Achiever by NYPA

Connie Cullen

 November 19, 2003


WHITE PLAINS—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) has selected Helen Eisenfeld, director of cost control and electric transportation in NYPA’s energy services, research and technology unit, as its Woman Achiever of the Year for 2003.

Eisenfeld is one of the over 75 women to be honored by their employers at the annual Salute to Women Achievers Luncheon sponsored by the Academy of Women Achievers of the YWCA-NYC at the New York Marriott Marquis in Manhattan on Thursday (Nov. 20).  The award recognizes women who have demonstrated leadership and served as positive examples in the workplace.  This year also marks the 30th Anniversary Celebration of the Salute to Women Achievers Luncheon.

“Eisenfeld’s outstanding efforts guiding NYPA’s energy efficiency programs make a critical contribution to strengthening New York’s electric system by helping our customers utilize smart, clean energy technologies that save energy, money and the environment,” said Eugene W. Zeltmann, president and chief executive officer, NYPA.

A resident of White Plains, Eisenfeld is based in the Power Authority’s White Plains office.  She was selected for the award from among Power Authority staff at projects and offices throughout New York State.

Eisenfeld joined NYPA in 1987 in its rates unit.  She moved to NYPA’s energy conservation division in 1991 as an economist and helped see the department through a period of intense growth.  That division, now known as the energy services, research and development unit, grew from handling about $2 million worth of energy-efficiency upgrades—mostly lighting—to installing more complex upgrades like boilers and chillers.  As the range of projects expanded, the unit’s budget grew to over $100 million a year.

“There was an obvious need to establish criteria as to what kind of things made a good project, and it was nice to be there in the early stages of the process,” said Eisenfeld.  “We established cost-effectiveness reviews that looked at paybacks, benefits, impacts and demand, and established new procedures to make sure NYPA recovered its costs and realized the maximum benefit from each project.”

Eisenfeld’s understanding of NYPA’s business needs earned her a promotion last year to her current position—to promote electric drive transportation throughout New York State.  Among the initiatives developed under her leadership include beginning a NYPA partnership with DaimlerChrysler to donate 300 electric vehicles (EVs) to NYPA customers and state university of New York campuses; instituting a new program to help finance the purchase of EVs for municipal and rural electric cooperative customers, and directing efforts to procure and demonstrate other hybrid-electric buses in downtown New York City and Lake Placid.

Eisenfeld received a bachelor’s in English from Harpur College at the State University of New York at Binghamton and a master’s of business administration in finance from Baruch Graduate School in Manhattan.  She was active in the P.T.A. while her three sons, now all in college, attended the White Plains Public Schools and recently she took up golf.  She and her husband, Sy, have lived in White Plains since 1984.  They are members of Congregation Kol Ami in White Plains.