Julie Hegedus was awarded the 2021 Energetic Women Maverick Award during the 13th Annual Energetic Women Conference: A Virtual Experience in June 2021.
The Maverick Award, bestowed by Energetic Women, 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.
Julie Hegedus has been a leader for women since she started working at Consumers Energy in 2008. She has held several leadership positions with the company and was the first female to lead as the executive director of gas construction and gas distribution. She currently serves as executive director of energy Services and is also the first female to lead in this role. Julie exemplifies what it means to be a positive leader while driving the organization’s operations to reach new heights.
“The leadership Julie provides encourages women to reach for goals they never thought could be in reach and opens space for women to achieve,” says Karli McNeill, Livonia distribution field leader at Consumers Energy. “She mentors women and men to challenge themselves and make changes for the better.”
Hegedus’ colleagues expressed admiration for both her ability to inspire them to be their true selves at work and how she values their individual opinions. “I love to watch my mentees grow and flourish, and when they deliver on amazing things, I am just so proud of what they can do,” said Hegedus. During her acceptance she expressed gratitude for the Mavericks who came before her and left three statements of advice: “If you don’t ask, you don’t get. If you are afraid to take a position, that’s why you should take it. Mentor and coach to pass the torch.”
“Julie is a leader that consistently promotes the capability of women in energy operations and engineering because she knows the organization is better served with diversity of thought and diversity of actions,” says Mary Palkovich, former vice president of energy delivery at Consumers Energy and 2015 Maverick Award Winner. “She passionately debates the merits of her female colleagues to ensure opportunities are fairly distributed.”
“Consumers Energy is fortunate to have Julie as a leader and advocate for women and diversity in engineering and operations,” says Stacey Bonine, program services vice president 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.