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Lauren Bishop

Chief Sustainability Officer

Phone: (828)227-3562

Hometown: Tallahassee, FL


  • Master of Arts, Industrial Technology, Building Science, Appalachian State University, 2005
  • Bachelor of Science and Business Administration, Real Estate & Urban Analysis, Appalachian State University, 2000

Bio: Lauren has been serving at WCU since 2005. She became the Energy Manager for the Facilities Management Department in 2007. In 2014 she transitioned into her current role as Chief Sustainability Officer. Her focus includes taking a holistic approach to integrating sustainability and waste reduction systematically across the campus and community. It is a dynamic goal that includes utilizing campus as a living-learning laboratory for student engagement, research, and high impact learning. Her family includes her husband Blair and two young boys, Harper and Myles.  In her free time, she likes to enjoy time outside with her family, hiking, traveling, playing in her garden, and being a mom.


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T. Reid Conway, PEM

Senior Energy Manager

Phone: (828)227-2105

Hometown:  Reidsville, NC


  • Bachelor of Business Administration, Mercer University
  • Energy Management Diploma, NC State University

Professional Certifications:

  • Professional Energy Manager, Institute of Energy Professionals
  • Commercial HVAC License, State of Georgia

Bio: Reid is the Senior Energy Manager for WCU.  He assumes a newly created position at WCU to oversee the energy management program.  Reid works closely with the Facilities Management, the Office of Sustainability and Design and Construction to improve campus energy efficiency.  Prior to this, Reid worked for the State Energy Office in North Carolina and served as state-wide technical expert on energy related topics with the primary focus on energy efficiency strategies within all governmental sectors.  Reid provides onsite energy assessments, strategic energy planning, oversite of performance contracting and other energy related consultation services.  Reid has been teaching sections of Energy Management Diploma Series at NC State.  Reid just finished work with the NC Building Code Council where he sat on a committee to write the 2024 NC Energy Conservation Code.    


photo of Duane Strain


Duane Strain

Energy/Building Automation System Manager

Phone: (828)227-3582

Hometown:  Baton Rouge, LA


  • Associate in Applied Science from Southwestern Community College in Computer Information Technology, 2009
  • Industrial Instrumentation Certification from International Technical Institute, 1985
  • Nate Certified in HVAC since 2010
  • EPA Certified since 2002

Bio: Duane has a diverse level of experience including over 21 years in the HVAC industry and over 12 years repairing electro-mechanical/digital equipment with Eastman Kodak Company.  Duane started at Western Carolina University in January 2013 and has served in several different roles within the HVAC and Controls Shop before being promoted to current role as Energy/BAS Systems Manager.  In this role he manages the building controls technician position as well as maintaining the university’s building automation systems.  He is the primary point of contact for vendors, contractors and others as buildings are coming online and being remodeled with new control systems.  He continues to perform retro-commissioning, test and balance, and trains the HVAC Shop on BAS.   



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