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Six Consumers Energy Employees Recognized for Career Excellence, STEM Commitment at Women of Color Conference

DETROIT, Oct. 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Six women from Consumers Energy will be recognized for their leadership, innovative thinking and commitment to promoting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and career development at the national Women of Color STEM conference taking place in Detroit Oct. 3-5.

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"These outstanding women are committed to making a difference for our company and the communities in which they work and live. They are pressing ahead for progress to help current and future women share in the opportunity to achieve professional and personal success," said Cathy Hendrian, senior vice president of people and culture at Consumers Energy. "We are particularly proud of their commitment to advancing interest in STEM because we know the importance of engaging students early regarding these important career paths."

Vice President of Operations Performance Tonya Berry will receive the Women of Color President's Award, recognizing her professional contributions and personal involvement to promoting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and career development to students and professionals.

 Berry has more than 20 years of experience in deploying lean methodologies across a range of industries, including the last five years at Consumers Energy. She is known for blazing new trails and has assisted in the development and implementation of the lean operation system called the CE Way at Consumers Energy. Because of her leadership, expertise and ability to engage employees at all levels of the company, Berry became the company's first African-American female vice president in 2018.

She credits STEM for helping influence her educational and career decisions. "When I was eight years old, I was fortunate to participate in a Romulus school district enrichment program to develop STEM skills. It was in this program where I learned that pursuing a STEM career would allow me to do meaningful work and make a difference in the world," Berry said. "Today, I carry with me the same excitement knowing that STEM is imperative to our future. We must continue to build a pipeline of talent in this space, which will enable the next generation of innovators to develop new products, processes and services that will sustain our economy," she noted.

Berry, who resides in Ann Arbor, is also active in several extracurricular organizations, including National Black MBA, National Society for Black Engineers, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Plymouth United Church of Christ – Detroit and Jack and Jill of America, Inc.

Other Consumers Energy WOC award winners include:

  • Ann Arbor resident Jennifer Rose, Special Recognition award,
  • Detroit's Davida Lowe, Technology Rising Star award;
  • Ferndale's Erica Krukowski, Technology Rising Star award;
  • Ann Arbor's Poonam Yadav, Technology Rising Star award
  • Lansing's Zakiya Harris, Technology All-Star award

Consumers Energy will host a panel discussion at the conference entitled "Sending the Elevator Back Down: Will You Be Ready When the Door Opens?" on October 4 at 2 p.m. at the TCF Center in Detroit. A Wellness Suite sponsored by the company will also be available from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. offering complimentary professional headshots to conference attendees.

Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest energy provider, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (CMS), providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.7 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

For more information about Consumers Energy, go to www.ConsumersEnergy.com.

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