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News Release: NREL To Provide Community Support through Loaned Executive

June 4, 2010

The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) announced today that it has entered an agreement with the Urban League of Metropolitan Denver (ULMD) to provide a loaned executive to the organization to support its important mission of helping African Americans and other residents of metro Denver attain job training and educational achievement.  Syl Morgan-Smith, a 29-year NREL employee who currently manages NREL’s diversity outreach programs, will become ULMD’s development director effective June 7. 

“The Urban League is a vital organization in our community and our decision to support its continued growth is one way that NREL can continue to give back to this community,” said Kerry Masson, NREL director of public affairs.  “Education is a high priority for NREL, and the Urban League’s education and training programs will help us and other corporations who are interested in developing new workforce talent.  Syl’s desire to help the Urban League and her experience in public relations make her the perfect candidate for this new assignment.” 

Landri Taylor, president & CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan Denver said, “We are ecstatic to have Ms. Syl Morgan-Smith join us as Director of Development as part of NREL's Executive-on-Loan program.  In this new position she will assist us in a very significant way to build more financial support and sponsorship for the local Urban League’s direct services, advocacy and public policy research. NREL's on-going commitment to the Urban League exemplifies their core value of community service, which is shown by their corporate social responsibility deeds. We hope other companies will follow their lead, and we deeply appreciate their very valuable assistance.”

Morgan-Smith has held the positions of director of corporate communications, NREL director of communications, and NREL manager of public affairs at the research facility in Golden, Colorado, that began as the Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI).  Before joining NREL, she was manager of public affairs for Rockwell International at DOE’s Rocky Flats Plant in Golden, and a former Denver television and radio news anchorwoman.

While employed at the lab, Morgan-Smith has held countless leadership positions with various non-profit and community based groups that include the Urban League of Metro Denver’s board of directors. Today, she is an enthusiastic Denver area member and a paid life-time member of the National Urban League. 

She recently was honored by Community Shares of Colorado as “Volunteer of the Year” for her work in chairing NREL’s 2010 corporate charitable giving campaign which included raising more than $358,000 for Colorado community organizations.

The mission of the Urban League is to eliminate economic disparity by fostering collaborations between government officials and corporations through its network of 100 local affiliates in 36 states and the District of Columbus, which focus on enabling African Americans and all people of color to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights through better education and employment in historically underserved urban communities.

2010 marks the 100th anniversary of  the National Urban League leading the efforts of its local affiliates with the development of programs, public policy research and advocacy to annually impact and improve the lives  of more than 2 million people nationwide by cultivating a symbiotic relationship with local residents and companies and advocating  positive change in their respective communities. All local offices are staffed by professionals where Urban League services come to life – and where people and their neighborhoods grow, change, and are strengthened to be accountable contributors to society at large.

NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy's primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL is operated for DOE by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.


—George Douglas