Jim Francis of CenterPoint Energy (previously with Vectren) is the 2019 Energetic Women Maverick Award recipient. Francis accepted the award at the 12th Annual Energetic Women Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The Maverick Award, bestowed by Energetic Women and founded by MEA Energy Association (MEA), gives special recognition to leaders who have set the standard in promoting, connecting and strengthening female leaders in energy operations and engineering. The award is presented annually to a man or woman who actively participates in the advancement of women in leadership, who knows an organization is stronger with a diverse leadership team, who understands the importance of recognition and opportunities for women, who advocates for the professional advancement of women, and who acknowledges the full talents, capabilities, and organizational benefits of women in energy operations and engineering.
Francis is a 25-year utility veteran and has spent most of his career working in various roles in engineering and operations. His work experiences and leadership positions over that time have allowed him to enhance his natural leadership skills and maximize his strengths. Francis is known for mentoring his team members, family, friends, and sometimes even perfect strangers.
“He has a talent for identifying and highlighting people’s strengths. He is truly committed to elevating and enhancing the leadership pool at Vectren and CenterPoint Energy,” says Ashley Babcock, director of damage prevention & public awareness at Vectren – A CenterPoint Energy Company.
Colleagues of Francis report that he truly understands the value of diversity in his team and routinely finds opportunities for women to be exposed to senior leadership, while providing credit and public accolades for successes and efforts. During his acceptance, Francis said, “I would like to thank the CenterPoint and the Vectren team. I've been fortunate to work with some incredible women…they are my colleagues and my friends and I value them tremendously.”
After attending the Energetic Women Conference in 2015, Francis has increased his support for the Energetic Women brand and personally invited and encouraged other male leaders within the industry to get involved. He also used his influence to advocate for Energetic Women to be the first formally recognized Employee Resource Group at Vectren. Additionally, Francis’ involvement in Vectren’s Emerging Leaders Program has put him on the short list of leaders to connect with new employees or existing employees new to their role.
“Vectren and CenterPoint Energy are fortunate to have Jim as a leader and advocate for women and diversity in engineering and operations,” says Stacey Bonine, director of corporate services and Energetic Women at MEA.
For more information about the Maverick Award or Energetic Women, contact Stacey Bonine, staceyb (at) MEAenergy (dot) org, or (651) 289-9600 x114 or visit www.energeticwomen.org.
About Energetic Women:
Energetic Women, a program of MEA, is a national professional and leadership development resource within the natural gas and electric utility industry. Our mission is to prepare women within the energy industry for leadership roles in operations and engineering, which is where the greatest gap exists today. We promote, support, connect and recognize those who believe in developing high potential leaders to create a sustainable future and increase diversity at the top levels.
MEA serves the people that deliver electricity and natural gas to homes and businesses. We were founded as a trade association over 110 years ago by distribution utilities whose vision was to improve safety and efficiency. Today, we fulfill the same purpose through education, leadership development, and industry connections. Energy delivery companies, contractors, and suppliers around the country benefit from our 55 summits, roundtables, and webinars, 400+ online technical courses, safety assessments, evaluator training, operator qualification compliance tools, and leadership courses for field personnel.
Left to right - Nancy Conder (Vectren – A CenterPoint Energy Company), Jim Francis (CenterPoint Energy), Shemeka Wesby (ComEd)