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Charles Matthews elected Chairman of Illinois Utilities Business Diversity Council

Supplier Diversity professionals, scholarship recipients recognized at Annual Meeting & Stakeholder Event

CHICAGO, Dec. 17, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Illinois Utilities Business Diversity Council (IUBDC) appointed Charles Matthews, President and CEO of Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas as Chairman of the Board at its Annual Meeting on December 2 in Chicago.  Mr. Matthews succeeds Bruce Hauk, President of Illinois American Water Company.

The Illinois Utilities Business Diversity Council was formed in 2015 to increase business opportunities for diverse suppliers through closer collaboration, technical development and sharing of best practices among leading Illinois utilities. IUBDC charter members include Ameren Illinois, Commonwealth Edison, Illinois American Water, Nicor Gas, North Shore Gas and Peoples Gas.

"Today's IUBDC reflects the commitment among participating utilities to not just buy from diverse companies, but to truly engage in a systematic effort to expand the opportunities for all diverse companies to succeed over the long haul," said Matthews, who will serve a one-year term. "Our mantra at IUBDC is to open doors.  We did that in 2019 and I look forward to building on the success of my fellow utility leaders and continue to grow the influence of the Council in 2020."

At the Annual Meeting, IUBDC reported that its member-utilities spent a combined $1.05 billion on goods and services provided by minority, women owned, or veteran-owned companies.  Those transactions contributed an incremental $2.05 billion to the Illinois GDP and sparked an additional $341.5 million in tax revenues for state, federal, and local governments. 

Later, at the Council's annual awards dinner and stakeholder recognition event, IUBDC recognized several individuals for their achievements in increasing opportunities for diverse companies, and highlighted new programs and tools that are filling the pipeline of qualified diverse suppliers.  Among those recognized were:

  • Jerry Fulmer – recipient of the Jerry Garland Award for Excellence in Supplier Diversity. Fulmer, vice president of Supplier Diversity at WEC Energy group, was honored for building awareness of diversity initiatives and helping businesses overcome obstacles and barriers to inclusion. Fulmer has spent 38 years in supplier development in a variety of roles in the energy sector.
  • Brien Sheahan – retiring Commissioner of the Illinois Commerce Commission. Sheahan was cited for his efforts to advance innovation in the utility sector. He was a driving force behind the creation of the IUBDC.
  • Regine Jeune and Joshua Davis. Jeune, president of DB Sterlin Consultants, and Davis, president of Lyons View Manufacturing and Supply, were recipients of scholarships funded by IUBDC from the Kellogg Advanced Management Education Program at Northwestern University. The scholarships are awarded in honor of Emmett Vaughn, a pioneer in minority business development. Vaughn, a supplier diversity executive from Exelon Corporation and an active volunteer for IUBDC, passed away in May of 2019.

For more information about the IUBDC, visit iubdc.com.

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SOURCE Illinois Utilities Business Diversity Council