By Alma de la Melena Cox
SAN FRANCISCO – At a ceremony today (Oct. 22) at the company’s headquarters, PG&E senior leaders and employees gathered to honor the winners of the utility’s annual Employee Champions Awards. The awards recognize PG&E employees for their work in promoting safety as a top goal, protecting the environment, supporting local communities and advancing diversity.
Each year, the company selects a handful of winners to receive four awards:
- Shermer L. Sibley Safety and Health Award
- Richard A. Clarke Environmental Leadership Award
- Frederick W. Mielke Jr. Award for Outstanding Community Service
- President’s Diversity Champion Award
This year awards were given to seven teams and six individuals. Winners were recognized for efforts that included improving customer safety with shorter gas-call response times; completing a seismic retrofit on a dam while simultaneously restoring more than 55 acres of federal land; creating after-school programs for latchkey children; and helping raise $250,000 a year for a YMCA high school that graduates about 20 students every year from low-income, largely minority, high-risk families.
“Our employees set the standard and continue to raise the bar when it comes to safety, the environment, diversity and serving our communities,” said Chairman and CEO Tony Earley. “They represent the best of who PG&E is as a company.”
“Our employees are our greatest asset,” said President Chris Johns. “We’re proud to honor the leadership our Champions are showing on these issues that are so important to our company and to our customers and communities.”
Earley and Johns congratulated the winners at the ceremony held in the PG&E Auditorium.
One of the Mielke Winners is chosen to represent PG&E at the Jefferson Awards for Public Service Gala in Washington, D.C.The Jefferson Awards were established nearly four decades ago to recognize community and public service in America. One of the nation’s highest honors for community service and volunteerism, the Jefferson Awards are known as the “Nobel Prize for public service.”
The public may vote online, via Facebook, to choose one of the Mielke Award recipients — C.J. Jorissen, Mary Myers or Jeremy Welland– to represent PG&E at the Jefferson Awards next year.
Each recipient of the Clarke, Mielke and President’s Diversity Champion awards received $5,000 from PG&E to give to the non-profit of their choice. Finalists received $1,000 from PG&E for the non-profit of their choice. Recipients of the Sibley Award will have $15,000 collectively donated on their behalf to the American Red Cross.
Additional examples of winning efforts included the following:
- Improving safety for contractors who help maintain 135,000 miles of electric lines from trees.
- Creating a soft-release system for capture and relocation of the endangered giant kangaroo rat. It will be used by both regulators and industry groups to protect wildlife.
- Partnering with Bakersfield ARC to provide12 educational recycling presentations for PG&E employees in 19 departments. The recycling center provides employment and skills training to adults with developmental disabilities.
The following teams and individuals received awards:
Sibley Safety and Health Award
Immediate Response Process Improvement Initiative Team (Public Safety)
Gas Emergency Preparedness (Public Safety)
Central Coast Grassroots Safety Team (Workplace Safety–Employees)
Vegetation Management (Workplace Safety–Contractors)
Richard A. Clarke Environmental Leadership Award
Anita Maxey (Individual Award)
Carrizo to Midway Project Team
Crane Valley Dam Retrofit Project Team
Frederick W. Mielke Jr. Award for Outstanding Community Service
President’s Diversity Champion Award