Kim Dao is a manager within ScottMadden’s rates, regulation, & planning practice. She officially joined ScottMadden upon its acquisition of Sussex Economic Advisors in 2016 and joined Sussex upon its formation in 2012. With nearly 15 years of energy consulting experience, Kim has been an active member of the rates and regulation community of practice, while also serving as the northeast regional lead within the energy markets community of practice.
A Shift in Career Paths
While studying economics at Clark University, Kim worked full time as a documentation specialist for a manufacturing company. Through her coursework and experiences, she developed an interest in business and was ultimately drawn toward consulting. Kim distinctly remembers a business professor advising her against this career path, but despite these warnings, Kim left her manufacturing job in pursuit of a consulting position. Following graduation, Kim accepted a project assistant role under Jim Stephens (Sussex co-founder and current ScottMadden partner).
Kim’s entry into the energy space coincided with a boom in the nuclear industry, and many of her early project experiences were serving nuclear clients. It was these early years that sparked her continued interest in energy, and she progressed from project assistant to managing consultant.
The Balancing Act
Kim is no stranger to a busy schedule. In her younger years, she was a full-time student and documentation specialist. Today, she is a full-time mother and consultant. After welcoming her daughter Emma, Kim considered stepping away from such demanding work. However, Jim Stephens and Bob Hevert, Sussex co-founders and current ScottMadden partners, sought to integrate more flexibility into her schedule. With this proposal, Kim joined the newly formed company as managing consultant. Though the hours and deadlines can be tiring, she has found energy work impressive and impactful. Kim also enjoys the ever-changing nature of her role, loving that even after 15 years she continues to learn.
Apart from work, Kim spends quality time with Emma, who is now seven. The mother-daughter duo is almost always on the go, and together they enjoy visits to nearby museums, animal watching at the zoo or aquarium, and charitable giving and volunteer work. As a first-grader, Emma recently donated her birthday gifts and spent time volunteering with Cradles to Crayons, which only furthered her fascination in and desire to meet those she was helping. This compassion has been instilled by Kim, who has made service a way of life within their household for many years.
Disconnecting and Recharging
Accustomed to the fast pace, Kim prefers never to be idle. When her work temporarily slows, she and Emma take to the islands, where they prioritize eating, sleeping, and swimming. The two have been on many tropical trips, including Turks and Caicos, St. Lucia, and Hawaii to name a few, with the ultimate goal to return to their busy lives refreshed and refocused. Though free time in Boston is less common, Kim enjoys visiting with family and friends, cheering on the Patriots and Celtics, and reading. Contrary to most, she does judge a book by its cover. If it looks good, she reads it, regardless of genre.
Kim reminds those who lead similarly active, and sometimes hectic, lives, “Some days require taking a step back. New ideas or perspectives often come when you temporarily disconnect.”
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