Wow – what a great event!

By Abeni Kendrick

Coworkers share their impressions, insights and what they learned from the American Association of Blacks in Energy’s annual conference. (We sponsored the event, too!)

The AABE Conference … Still inspiring and educating National Grid employees!

 AABE (American Association of Blacks in Energy) did not disappoint, and once again hosted another dynamic and informative event! National Grid was one of the many proud marketing sponsors of this year’s 39th annual 2016 AABE Conference, held in Chicago, Illinois.

The conference theme this year was “Energy Connections in a Global Environment,” which is so relevant in the energy industry in this age of globalization. This year’s conference kicked off with an energizing fireside chat with the first-ever appointed African American FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) commissioner Collette Honorable. Commissioner Honorable so eloquently questioned the attendees about how they were helping to engage and introduce more minorities to the energy sector. She emphasized how we need to make the energy industry ‘sexy’ and overall more appealing to other minorities, so we can construct a more diverse workforce for the future.

The following days of the four- day conference were chock-full with edifying sessions, such as Global Energy Outlook, Workforce Planning for a Diverse Future, Understanding the Clean Power Plan – a CEO and Regulator’s Perspective, Commissioner Perspectives and Smart Cities – Energy Technology. Crowd favorite sessions – such as Women in Power, AABE Talks and Legislative Crossfire– were still in place, and were as lively and powerful as ever!

Some of the constant messages throughout the conference were entrepreneurship, workforce diversity, leadership and supplier diversity. Overall, the conference was another successful AABE event that not only educated, inspired and enlightened employees, but allowed them to network and truly make connections with their fellow energy peers nationwide.

Here’s what some of your colleagues had to say about this year’s conference …

“The Women in Power panel was powerful and dynamic. Two of the most memorable quotes by Vice President LaTanza Adjei of Georgia Power were: ‘Work/life balance is a myth, strive for work/life integration’ and ‘I have no problem with getting a massage at 11am, when I have no problem representing my company at events until 10pm.’   Tamela E. Bailey, Counsel, Commercial Legal, Waltham MA

“Panelist Wyman Winbush was very inspiring and motivating with his presentation on Excellence in Leadership. He stressed that, as a leader, you have to bring more to the table than a pretty smile. You need to be known as the subject matter expert and the ‘go to’ person. You need to have a unique set of skills that makes you not so easily replaceable. He also said, ‘In every organization, there are leaders who don’t have a title. So it doesn’t matter where you are in your organization – lead now!’”
Gabrielle Prescott, Senior Supervisor Admin Services/Facilities, Waltham, MA

 “This year’s AABE national Conference was filled with invaluable information that was both empowering and enlightening. There were great networking opportunities, concrete and creative strategy tips, and innovative insight into the energy sector. I walked away feeling I had gained way more knowledge than anticipated.”
Fleur Callender, Supplier Diversity & Sustainability Analyst, Hicksville, NY

 “The AABE conference continues to deliver energy-related information that is on cutting edge. We heard from speakers who have moved from just attendees to board members, CEOs, commissioners and the highest level in the DOE [Department of Energy]. We heard lively and interactive discussions on Workforce Management, how to create a diverse team and how to increase our pool of skilled technicians to replace experienced workers who are eligible to retire. Being in a space where we can learn best practices – while highlighting our company’s – helps makes us well-rounded as energy professionals.”
Margaret Gordon, Manager, LI Gas Contact Center, Brooklyn, NY

Related information:

Learn more about AABE

Shown (l-r) are: Gabrielle Prescott, Abeni Kendrick, Regina Maddox, Rudy Wynter, Mauri Myers-Solages, Margaret Gordon, Fleur Callender, Terry Yarde, Andrew L. Barnes, III, Renee McClure and Camal Robinson

Shown (l-r) are: Gabrielle Prescott, Abeni Kendrick, Regina Maddox, Rudy Wynter, Mauri Myers-Solages, Margaret Gordon, Fleur Callender, Terry Yarde, Andrew L. Barnes, III, Renee McClure and Camal Robinson

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