FE Board of Directors ‘On Board’ with D&I Efforts

As part of an exercise designed to simulate a physical disability, board members Don Misheff (second from r.) and Thomas Mitchell (r.) are tasked with opening a bag of pretzels with one hand. THRIVE volunteers Jennette Sheldon, manager, Regional Work Management (far l.), and Tracy Galiotto, manager, Energy Efficiency Implementation Support, were conducting the exercise.

July 19, 2019

FirstEnergy recently held its Board of Directors meeting at the Greensburg (Pa.) Corporate Center as part of the Board’s efforts to meet employees throughout our service area. During the two-day visit, Board members learned about the company’s Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) initiatives by participating in a panel discussion with founding members of several Employee Business Resource Groups (EBRG) and taking part in other activities.

“The Board of Directors supports our efforts to advance D&I initiatives,” said Board Chair Don Misheff. “For our company to be successful, we need a diverse workforce to provide different ideas and opinions to help keep us competitive and attractive to potential employees.”

Board members had the opportunity to metaphorically walk a mile in the shoes of individuals with disabilities during the THRIVE EBRG’s Day-in-the-Life event. Various stations were set up so participants could experience hearing impairments, physical disabilities, communication disorders and learning disabilities. THRIVE is devoted to fostering an inclusive work environment where employees with disabilities are empowered to be authentic, valued and respected.

In addition, the Board attended a panel discussion with members of the Women in Leadership, Alternate Current, MOSaic, Helping Women GROW, and Veterans & Allies EBRGs. During the panel, EBRG members highlighted the mission and accomplishments of their organizations and fielded questions from Board members and other company executives.

“After experiencing THRIVE’s Day-in-the-Life event, and hearing from founding members of the EBRGs, it’s great to see FirstEnergy creating an inclusive environment that makes employees feel valued,” said Board Member Michael Anderson. “As the longest tenured member of the board, I’ve never been prouder to be affiliated with the company.”

Board Member Leslie Turner echoed Michael’s remarks. “I’ve had previous experience working with EBRGs, and I appreciate all the time and effort it takes to create meaningful experiences for employees and drive change consistent with FirstEnergy’s values and behaviors,” she said. “Thank you for all you’re doing. Please keep the board informed of your efforts and let us know how we can help.”

Also on the agenda for the Board’s visit was a tour of the Distribution Simulation Lab at the Greensburg Distribution Control Center. The simulation lab allows distribution system operators to better visualize how their actions on a computer affect what happens in the field. It was noted that the employees who created the lab were recently honored with a President’s Award for their innovation and teamwork.

Board members and FirstEnergy employees watch a demonstration in Greensburg’s Distribution Simulation Lab.

Goldie Baltimore, manager, Operations Services, Potomac Edison, introduces himself to Board Member Steve Demetriou after participating in the EBRG panel discussion.

Stacey Silvis, director, Diversity & Inclusion (at podium), leads a panel discussion with several founding members of FirstEnergy EBRGs. L. to r.: Sheryl Nunn, Women in Leadership; Guy Ryno, Alternate Current; Goldie Baltimore, MOSaic; Misty Terry, Helping Women Grow; and Tim Washington, Veterans & Allies.