International organization names business alumna DeAndrea Salvador an ‘Influential Leader’

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

UNC Charlotte alumna DeAndrea Salvador ’13 is one of 33 business school graduates honored by AACSB International (AACSB)—the world’s largest business education alliance—in the 2019 Class of Influential Leaders. This annual challenge recognizes notable alumni from AACSB-accredited schools whose inspiring work serves as a model for the next generation of business leaders.

Salvador, who completed a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Belk College of Business, is founder and CEO of Renewable Energy Transition Initiative (RETI) and JouleScout. She has brought recognition to the issue of energy poverty locally, nationally and globally through RETI. She leads change within the energy sector, especially for low-income families affected by high energy burdens. In January 2018, she was selected as a TED 2018 Fellow—an honor earned by only 20 people worldwide. Her TED talk, “How We Can Make Energy More Affordable for Low-Income Families,” presented in April 2018, was featured on the home page. Salvador was recognized as a UNC Charlotte Outstanding Young Alumna in 2018, and she is a 30 under 30 award-winner of the Charlotte Black Chamber of Commerce. Among the 2019 Class of Influential Leaders, Salvador is the only honoree from the UNC System.

“AACSB is honored to recognize DeAndrea Salvador and congratulates the UNC Charlotte Belk College of Business for its role in preparing alumni who are leading examples of business education as a force for good in the world,” said Thomas Robinson, president and CEO of AACSB. “The diversity of backgrounds, industries and career paths of the 2019 Class of Influential Leaders demonstrates that AACSB-accredited schools are preparing graduates to succeed wherever their passions may take them.”

Dean Steven Ott of the Belk College of Business said, “DeAndrea Salvador has made a tremendous impact in the community and successfully applied her economics education to create powerful social change. Not only is DeAndrea making a positive impact through her organization RETI, but she is influencing the conversation about energy locally and worldwide. Furthermore, as an engaged alumna, she is fully committed to helping future business leaders. We congratulate DeAndrea on this prestigious honor.”

Launched in 2015 to honor notable alumni from AACSB-accredited business schools, the AACSB Influential Leaders initiative recognizes business school graduates for the positive impact they make on society, and the inspiring example they set for others. This is the third time that UNC Charlotte’s Belk College of Business has had an honoree, with alumna Susan DeVore, CEO of Premier Inc., being honored in 2015, and Robert Niblock, retired chairman, CEO and president of Lowe’s Companies being honored in 2016.

Now in its fourth year, the Influential Leaders challenge has recognized almost 200 business school graduates for creating lasting impact in business and society. All honorees have earned an undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral degree from one of the more than 800 AACSB-accredited business schools worldwide. Learn more about the Influential Leaders challenge and view a full list of honorees.

Salvador was featured in the story, “Helping Families Eliminate Energy Poverty,” published on Inside UNC Charlotte.