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UCA LogoINTREN is proud to congratulate Vice Chairman of the Board Lance Rosenmayer on his recent appointment as President of the Underground Contractors Association of Illinois.

“Lance’s extensive utility construction background, years of service at UCA of IL, along with many other industry and charitable NPO’s, make him well suited to tackle the tough issues that we currently face,” said UCA Executive Director Michael Wiedmaier. “His dedication and leadership will leave the association and industry better positioned for the future.”

Lance has been a Director at UCA of IL since 2013 and will be serving as President from October 2020 to September 2022. Lance has been on the executive committee the last four years serving a two-year term as Secretary and Vice President.

“During this unprecedented time, members needs are changing, and it is vital that we adapt,” said Lance Rosenmayer. “Now, more than ever, it is important to be the voice for the contractor concerning legislation and best safety practices.”

UCA of IL was incorporated in 1957 with a mission to serve and advance the Underground Industry and our members, who provide quality utility installation for the citizens of Illinois, following the highest legal, moral and ethical standards. UCA currently has over 220 contractors, associates and consulting engineer members.

Intren's Cincinnati Team Pink

Stewardship has always been the cornerstone of which INTREN was founded and we take great pride in supporting charitable organizations within our communities. In the month of October for the last seven years, we have supported Breast Cancer Awareness Month with a fundraising campaign among our employees.

This year we have chosen to support two national breast cancer non-profit organizations. They are the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which focuses heavily on research and prevention efforts for the disease, and the National Breast Cancer Foundation, that provides ongoing breast cancer education, screening, resources and support for those fighting the disease and their families.

When an employee donates to one of these worthy causes, they have the option to get a pink inspired INTREN hard hat, safety glasses, tee-shirt or face mask.

Every year we surpass our goal and it is a tribute to the caring employees of INTREN that look forward to participating each year for such a worthy cause.

Sherina Maye Edwards

By Sherina Maye Edwards

As a young woman of color, it is not always easy to be a leader in an industry with an aging, male dominated and largely non-diverse workforce. Back when I was first appointed as a Commissioner at the Illinois Commerce Commission, it didn’t take me long to discover that my commitment to diversity and inclusion would continuously merit special time and attention. 

The energy sector remains one of the least gender and racially diverse sectors in the economy, despite efforts to promote and encourage women and minorities’ participation. Both women and minorities face structural and cultural challenges and the lack of these two groups in leadership positions in the energy space compounds the difficulty in recruiting and retaining diverse leaders. This is especially important given the role that diversity can often play as key drivers of innovative and inclusive solutions. As such, gender and racial diversity and the broad participation of women and minorities in the energy sector are needed for a successful energy future. 

While social justice typically is the initial impetus behind these efforts, companies have increasingly begun to regard inclusion and diversity as a source of competitive advantage, and specifically as a key enabler of growth. Yet progress on diversification initiatives have been slow. And companies are still uncertain about how they can most effectively use diversity and inclusion to support their growth and value-creation goals.

We know intuitively that diversity matters. It’s also increasingly clear that it makes sense in purely business terms. Research consistently shows that companies in the top quartile for gender or racial and ethnic diversity are more likely to have financial returns above their national industry medians. Companies in the bottom quartile in these dimensions are statistically less likely to achieve above-average returns. And diversity is probably a competitive differentiator that shifts market share toward more diverse companies over time.

This correlation indicates that when companies commit themselves to diverse leadership, they are more successful. More diverse companies are better able to win top talent and improve their customer orientation, employee satisfaction, and decision making, and all that leads to a virtuous cycle of increasing returns. This in turn suggests that other kinds of diversity—for example, in age, sexual orientation, and experience (such as a global mind-set and cultural fluency)—are also likely to bring some level of competitive advantage for companies that can attract and retain such diverse talent.

I'm not suggesting that achieving greater diversity is easy. Women—accounting for an average of just 16 percent of the members of executive teams in the United States—remain underrepresented at the top of corporations globally. 

Most organizations must do more to take full advantage of the opportunity that diverse leadership teams represent. That’s particularly true for their talent pipelines: attracting, developing, mentoring, sponsoring, and retaining the next generations of global leaders at all levels of organizations. 

The same efforts regarding a diverse workforce in energy should also be placed in encouraging and supporting diverse businesses in energy. There is strength, innovation, and prosperity to be found in embracing a wide range of thoughts, ideas, and perspectives. During my time as a regulator in Illinois, my fellow Commissioners and I required regulated utilities to report their diverse supplier procurement spend on an annual basis. The Illinois Commerce Commission supported the goal of greater access to utility procurement contracts for women-owned, minority-owned, veteran-owned, and small businesses. Utility spending with diverse suppliers has since increased tremendously and utilities in Illinois are continuously working to improve their diversity spend. 

I believe that successfully embracing diversity as a business imperative requires that company leadership embrace diversity as a moral imperative. By removing barriers and impediments to market entry, we help emerging and developing businesses grow and expand. The resulting increase in competition will result in lower overall costs, which benefits utilities and the consumer. So again, diversity doesn’t just make sense, it makes dollars. The trickle-down positive effect of diversity gets even better: diverse procurement has a direct and positive economic impact on the communities where corporations do business, as diverse suppliers tend to hire more Black, Latino and other underrepresented employees than their counterparts. In addition, when diverse business owners do business with major institutions like utilities, they generate wealth, create jobs, and communities of color are overall better resourced to thrive and be successful. 

From infrastructure modernization efforts to countless technological innovations changing the way we consume, generate and store energy, it’s certainly an exciting time to be a professional in the energy space. One thing is clear – the future of the energy industry relies on diversity. I am proud to work for a company that gets it and under my leadership we will certainly continue to move that needle forward at INTREN!

Nicor Gas, Quad County Urban League, NPL, KS Energy Services and INTREN are conducting a six-week, unpaid job-readiness program to prepare you for entry-level work in the utility industry. The session runs from September 14 -October 23, 2020, 9 a.m. - noon Monday - Friday and is limited to 25 participants, so apply now!

Visit Career Academy WebsiteDownload Flyer (PDF)

President & CEO Kelly Tomblin Returns to Utility Sector

Sherina Maye Edwards and Kelly Tomblin

INTREN, a national WBE utility contractor, announced today that President and CEO Kelly Tomblin has accepted a position as CEO at El Paso Electric, as part of its acquisition by JPMorgan’s Infrastructure Investments Fund. INTREN Board Member Sherina Maye Edwards, who is an attorney and partner at Quarles & Brady in Chicago, has been named CEO.

“Sherina is a three-year board member with extensive experience and deep connections throughout the energy industry. I can’t imagine leaving INTREN in better hands,” said Kelly. “Sherina is also a long-time champion for diversity and inclusion and will continue our efforts throughout every level of the organization.”

“The team we have developed at INTREN is one of the strongest, most innovative, and committed groups that I have worked with in 30 years in the energy industry. Throughout the pandemic and other challenges we have had this year, they have embraced our motto of #INTRENSTRONG and risen to the occasion time and time again. I have no doubt they will continue to serve our customers and communities in even more creative ways in the future.”

A former utility regulator and a woman frequently recognized for her leadership, Sherina has served in a myriad of high profile roles including a five-year term on the Illinois Commerce Commission, her 2016 appointment by President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx as Co-Chair of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Voluntary Information-Sharing System Working Group, and as a 2017 Eisenhower Fellow where she served with and advised energy leaders in South Africa and Australia.

Having founded both the Women’s Energy Summit and the Women’s Energy Network of Chicago, as well as having strong influence over the creation of the Illinois Utilities Business Diversity Council, Sherina is nationally recognized for being a champion for diversity and inclusion within the utility and energy space.

“In the more than three years that Kelly has been at the helm, she has created an effective leadership team, dispersed decision-making throughout the organization, and has seen record growth and strong financial results,” said Sherina. “I am proud to follow in her footsteps and wish her the best as she brings her expertise to El Paso Electric.”

“Although we are reluctant to see Kelly go, she has left INTREN poised for continued success,” said Founder and Board Chairwoman Loretta Rosenmayer. “With Sherina at the helm, we are confident that we will continue to be the measure of excellence from coast-to-coast.”

2020 NECA AwardINTREN is honored to receive the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) Recognition of Achievement for Safety Excellence award. We are especially proud of our crew members from coast-to-coast that continually put safety first despite the challenges they have faced this year.

“Being recognized for achievement in safety excellence by NECA is a tremendous honor,” said Director of Safety and Quality Tyler Herdendorf. “It confirms how dedicated and committed the organization is to the safety and health of all its employees. Creating a safety culture is a never-ending challenge but it’s worth it when we all strive for the same goal of everyone going home safely. By focusing on leading indicators, hazard recognition, and employee development through training, we will obtain our ultimate goal of error-free performance.”

NECA represents the $130 billion/year electrical contracting industry.

INTREN has been in the Chicago civil market for more than 20 years. Since then we have taken the work from California to Maryland and everywhere in between. With the expertise to take on large, complex projects, our goal has always been to deliver safe, quality work that is on time, and on budget. Watch our video on complex civil projects to see how we continually strive to be the measure of excellence.

Diversity Equality InclusionRecently, INTREN formed a Diversity Action Council in order to create a structured and ongoing approach to our diversity goals.

The council’s strategic initiatives include enhancing diverse recruitment, fostering ERGs, retaining and developing diverse talent, utilizing external diversity advisors, and recommitting to diversity education. As a WBE and a tier 2 diversity supplier, INTREN has long been dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion. As the first utility contractor to pledge our support to CEO Action in 2019, we joined 900 global CEOs to take collective action on DEI in the workplace.

Our focus has long been on supporting diversity-focused third-party efforts and mentoring/supporting diverse subcontractors. Internally, we have conducted unconscious bias training, along with having a Culture Team focused on diversity initiatives.

However, this is only the beginning. We look forward to working closely with our customers and fostering continued positive change throughout our organizations.

The Philly Team The Philly Team The Philly Team The Philly Team

Congratulations to our Philadelphia Overhead and Underground crews for achieving one-year incident-free! It is your dedication to uncompromised safety and your continuous efforts to improve that has led to this significant milestone. Great job! #OutPerformingEveryday

The St Clair Sluggers

Here is a shout out to the St. Louis 8U St. Clair Sluggers, which INTREN sponsored this year! According to General Foreman Anthony Garrett, "The boys have worked super hard this season only to be cut short by the epidemic and continue to work at practice despite no games in the near future. The dedication and pride they show are very reminiscent of the way INTREN goes about every day in the industry. We also wanted to give a special shout out to (Regional Director) Matt Guenzler for his enthusiastic support. It is very much appreciated!"