Young Professionals Group

YPG Mission

The IDEA Young Professionals Group (YPG) aims to develop the younger generation of District Energy professionals by providing networking opportunities to share knowledge, get involved, and build connections that set them up to succeed and lead a growing, ever-changing industry.


The idea to establish the IDEA Young Professionals Group (YPG) happened quite organically at the Welcome Reception for IDEA2019 in Pittsburgh.  IDEA member Laura Christensen had attended a few IDEA conferences but being relatively new to the organization, found it sometimes difficult to connect with colleagues like her who were getting their start in the industry.

Watching the crowd enjoy themselves during this 'Game Night' themed event, Laura introduced herself to IDEA CEO Rob Thornton and asked if IDEA would be interested in creating a group for young professionals to network and discuss issues affecting them as they immerse themselves in the industry. The answer was a resounding yes.  

And so it began. Laura was named co-chair of the YPG, along with Chase Davis of RMF Engineering and at CampusEnergy2020 in Denver, the first meeting of the YPG took place in the exhibit hall. The crowd was big and the response for this new group overwhelmingly positive. Now more than 70 individuals are official YPG members.

YPG Co-Chairs

When it comes to leadership at YPG, we'd like to "Cut to the Chases", as in Davis and Dube.

Yes, our two co-chairs may have the same first name (and same first initial of their last), but the Davis-Dube team have two very unique backgrounds and experiences in working in and coming up through the ranks of district energy. We thank them for the passion and energy they are bringing to the industry and this group.

Chase Davis works as a project engineer and project manager at RMF specializing in central energy infrastructure for higher education and healthcare clients. His career spans for over a decade in the district energy consulting, fuel cell, geothermal, and nuclear submarine industries. Chase is a licensed Professional Engineer, Certified Energy Manager, and has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from University of Connecticut and a Masters in Mechanical Engineer from RPI.

Chase Dube (pronounced DOO-bee) is the Maintenance Operations Manager for The University of Texas - Utilities and Energy Management (UEM). He comes to UEM from Luminant, where he started as an engineer and rose to maintenance manager at a combined cycle plant in Odessa, TX. Chase has a strong background in gas turbine maintenance and continues to grow his expertise in steam specialties. He graduated from Texas A&M with a  Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and has found a welcoming home at the University of Texas. Chase is a born and bred Texan so feel free to give him a loud howdy the next time you see him.

How to Join YPG

Membership in YPG is open to listed members of IDEA Member Organizations, members with 10 years or less experience in the industry who want to build a career in the industry. Each IDEA member organization has a distinct number of individual memberships that are granted them depending on their level of membership. If your organization is a current member, connect with the main contact within your organization for your account and have them add your name to the list of listed members. 

YPG members have access to a wealth of IDEA Member Benefits, including access to an exclusive chat room for our YPG'ers.

If your organization is not a member, you are still welcome to participate in our YPG Happy Hours, held bi-monthly. Please consult the schedule on this page for upcoming events.

Questions about Membership?

Scott Szycher

Membership Manager
+1 (508) 366-9339

YPG Virtual Happy Hours

A staple event for the YPG (especially during the pandemic) are our Virtual Happy Hours. YPG Virtual Happy Hours offer our YPG'ers the chance to relax after a hard day, enjoy a beverage of choice and discuss the issues that matter most to them.

Our first two events were so successful that we are expanding the offerings for every two months on the ubiquitous Zoom platform.

Upcoming Virtual Happy Hour Dates: 

New Year Kick-Off Meeting: Get to Know IDEA
Thursday, January 27, 2022  at 6pm EST

Ever wonder why IDEA exists besides to throw awesome conferences? What is its mission? What are its goals? What does a board member do? What does IDEA President and CEO Rob Thornton do to move the organization forward?

Wonder no more, because YPG is hosting a happy hour where these questions and more will be answered by Rob in an open forum discussion which will focus on IDEA as an industry association. We will start with an overview from Rob, followed by Q&A and break out into further discussion room to discuss everything from getting involved in IDEA, future ambitions, or just small talk and networking… all from the comfort of your own home or office! So grab a beverage, sit back, and get to know IDEA a little better!

Register Now!

Past Webinars

Recorded on July 21, 2020, enjoy this discussion led between the YPG and three of IDEA's long-time member/mentors.

Learn how they got started in district energy, how their careers have evolved, decisions they made and why they made them, as well as advice on how the next generation of leaders can succeed in driving our industry further into a  sustainable, more resilient future.

View Webinar

YPG Blog

The YPG is committed to connecting you with resources that can help you in your career development. We will cultivate content from outside sources and from within IDEA to help you as you navigate your career path. 

We also STRONGLY encourage YPG members to submit their own blog posts to IDEA to be published here. These can be personal stories about successes and challenges, opinion pieces or content you think will stimulate conversation within the group. We want to hear from you!

If you are interested in submitting content, please email Jason Beal, Director, Member Services at Please note that IDEA and the YPG reserve the right to edit materials for brevity or content.