Wall of Mavericks
Energetic Women and MEA congratulate these outstanding individuals for their service to the industry and thank them for working to strengthen women leadership in energy.
Vectren, a CenterPoint Energy Company
Jim Francis is a 25-year utility veteran and has spent the majority of his career working in various roles in engineering and operations. Jim’s work experiences and leadership positions have provided him the opportunity to enhance his natural leadership skills and maximize his strengths. He never stops mentoring his team members, family, friends, and sometimes even perfect strangers; he has a talent for identifying and highlighting people’s strengths. He is truly committed to elevating and enhancing the leadership pool at Vectren and CenterPoint Energy.
Jim uses his role in the company to provide opportunities for women by recognizing their leadership potential and believing in their ability. He understands the value of diversity in his team and routinely finds opportunities for women to be exposed to senior leadership. He provides credit and public accolades for successes and effort.
Heather Rivard has been a trailblazer and role model while serving in very senior operational positions at DTE Energy. Her success as a female leader moving across vastly different roles, blending significant technical depth with outstanding leadership skills, has provided an example for other women (and men) in the organization that you can, indeed, have it all.
Cheryl Maletich is a model for inclusive and engaging leadership, actively seeking the perspectives of her workforce on key decisions. In her role as VP Distribution System Operations at ComEd, she develops her direct reports to do the same. She understands that employees are vital people, and she believes in helping them feel connected to the organization.
Mary O’Toole has personally and professionally advocated for women and diversity in the energy engineering and operations world. She understands the importance of promoting and strengthening potential leaders to create a successful, diverse team.
Mary Palkovich is an amazing leader for men and women. To start, she emphasizes the importance of having a diverse workforce and encourages hiring managers to require a diverse candidate pool for interviews. Mary establishes this strategic direction by communicating the message that a diverse and inclusive workforce increases employee engagement and leads to a more successful and productive organization.
New Mexico Gas Company
Annette Gardiner has built a common understanding with the leadership team at New Mexico Gas Company to ensure that women play key roles in working on large and impactful projects, such as replacing pipe or rewriting the Operations and Maintenance manual. Annette’s philosophy is that women won’t be prepared for operational promotions in the future if they are not in a position to make meaningful contributions in the present.
Citizens Energy Group