You were instrumental in finalizing Emera’s acquisition of TECO and Peoples Gas. Why was Florida on Emera’s growth radar? Prior to this experience, did you personally participate in other acquisitions?
Florida was on our radar as it is a large and growing state. We were, and continue to be, very happy with our acquisition of TECO, including New Mexico Gas. Prior to my role in the TECO acquisition I was involved with other acquisitions and large projects at Emera. Emera built an undersea cable to electrically link, for the first time, the Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.
Throughout your career you have been a champion for women, including being a strong supporter of the Florida’s Women in Energy Leadership Forum since its inaugural year. Why do you believe it is important to embrace diversity of thought?
A leader does not have all the answers and does not make all the decisions. Working with a team comprised of individuals who bring diversity of thought, by virtue of diversity of backgrounds and experience, is important to avoid group think and therefore bad decisions.
“One of the most important things to ensuring women rise in our organization is for them to see other women who are there now.”
Are there best practices to share in empowering women to rise in the ranks of leadership within the energy industry?
One of the most important things to ensuring women rise in our organization is for them to see other women who are there now. They need to see that it can be done, that others have faced the challenges they currently see in front of them and overcome them, or at least dealt with them. I am fortunate to have worked in an organization that promoted women and as a result we have women running large operational parts of our business.
What are some exciting things on the horizon for Tampa Electric that may create opportunities for the next generation of workforce talent?
We are very focused on our customer and serving them in a way that makes it easy for them to do business with us. Many changes have happened in customer service and we are working to incorporate those changes in our business. We know customers want clean, reliable and affordable energy. We are greening our generation fleet now, with a move to highly efficient natural gas and lots of solar generation.