Women in Energy

The women of Chesapeake bring dedication, innovation and expertise to their jobs. Our employees aspire to do their best every day. And, as our industry grows, so does the need for the talents and skills of our people, including the women who work in the office and the field. We hope their stories and experience, shared below, will inspire others to explore careers in the energy industry, and help us put new energy in the workforce.

Steering Committee Members

Aleida Socarras

Vice President Chesapeake Utilities Corporation

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Aleida Socarras

Vice President, Chesapeake Utilities Corporation

What are three key responsibilities within your current role?
The three key characteristics of my current role are to establish the strategic direction for the Business Unit, increase profitability and performance through enhanced efficiencies and focused attention on key business objectives, and lastly, the training, development and growth of all our employees, and in particular our leadership team.

What has influenced your career in the energy field?
I’m passionate about the environment and finding ways to reuse, reduce and recycle in my personal life.  It feels good to be working to promote a cleaner energy solution that has so many benefits for consumers.

Do you have any advice for women working in the energy workforce?
GROW:
G - Gain as much knowledge as you can; never stop learning; don’t be afraid to ask questions;
R – Raise your hand; don’t be afraid to take on additional responsibility and to volunteer for work outside your own area;
O – Own the outcome; if you make a mistake, learn from it.  If you hit a home run, don’t shy away from the recognition you deserve;
W – What if? Always ask “what if…..?” when approaching any new situation, problem, or task.  That’s how innovation grows and what makes life fun.

Cheryl Martin

Vice President, Regulatory Affairs Chesapeake Utilities Corporation

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Cheryl Martin

Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, Chesapeake Utilities Corporation

What are three key responsibilities within your current role? I am responsible for Chesapeake Utilities Corporation’s Regulatory Departments which includes responsibilities for utility rate proceedings and other filings before Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and state regulatory Commissions. I am also responsible for the Florida Business Analysis Departments which includes work on Budgets, Strategic Plans, Financial Analysis and Modeling and all regulatory strategic planning for the Corporation.

Do you have any advice for women working in the energy workforce? Since the Energy Industry requires skills in a wide variety of areas, the best advice is to continue to develop your skills, and look outside of one area within the organization to develop your skills.  Don’t be afraid to try new things in the organization, always embrace change, and display dependability and a great attitude on the job.

As a woman working in the energy field, what challenges do you face? Early in my career there were very few women in the Energy industry, especially in managerial and professional roles.  This has changed, and in the last decade or two, I believe that women have equal opportunities in the energy field.   As a matter of fact, a career in the energy industry affords everyone the opportunity to learn, advance, and develop in a wide variety of roles.

For those who are seeking employment in the energy field, what may you share about the culture at Chesapeake Utilities Corporation? The culture here at Chesapeake Utilities Corporation includes great team work, caring of others, creativity and hard work.  Everyone is valued and part of the success of the organization.

Devon Rudloff

Assistant Vice President, Human Resources Chesapeake Utilities Corporation

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Devon Rudloff

Assistant Vice President, Human Resources, Chesapeake Utilities Corporation

What is a typical work day for you? A typical work day for me includes providing oversight and direction to the HR team; ensuring we are following Company policies and procedures; working on strategic projects; meeting with vendors and/or internal business unit partners.

What motivates you within the workforce? I am motivated by an internal drive to do my best every day. I aspire to make positive changes for the Company, the department and for our employees. I have a passion for people and want to help them reach their goals and be their best self.

What has influenced your career in the energy field? There have been many influences in my career in the energy workforce. The most rewarding ones have been informal mentors and role models that I looked up to. They believed in me and stretched me and provided opportunities that I might not have sought on my own.

Do you have any advice for women working in the energy workforce? My advice to women in the energy workforce would be: "You don't have to work twice as hard as others to prove yourself." I think that's innate in women. We need to make sure we don't burn out or let our strengths become our weaknesses. Take time for yourself. (Easier said than done, I realize).

Liz Miller

Senior Director, Financial Planning & Analysis Chesapeake Utilities Corporation

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Liz Miller

Director, Financial Planning and Analysis Chesapeake Utilities Corporation

What are three key responsibilities within your current role? Oversee the consolidated Company’s budget and forecast process and reporting, support the financial consolidation of the strategic plan, financial modeling.

What motivates you within the workforce? I enjoy driving change. I am currently one week away from launching a new budget software. It’s fun and exciting to see how this will change the Company.

What has influenced your career in the energy field? I value working in a stable business. I also am very interested in pursuing new acquisitions and am often involved in modeling these potential opportunities.

Jennifer Clausius

Manager, Business Planning Chesapeake Utilities

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Jennifer Clausius

Manager, Business Planning, Chesapeake Utilities

What inspired you to join the energy industry? I joined the energy industry mainly because I was impressed with Chesapeake Utilities Corporation and wanted to work there. It struck me as a unique company with a stable utility base as well as a significant amount of growth potential. The positon that I was hired into also gave me the opportunity to combine my analytical skills with my oral and written communication skills.

What motivates you within the workforce? One of my greatest motivating factors is being able to see a particular project through from start to finish. Whether it’s playing a part in a natural gas pipeline expansion or the completion of a three year budget, having a tangible result at the end of the project gives me something to focus on.

Do you have any advice for women working in the energy workforce? My advice to women working in the energy workforce is to try to learn as much as possible about how the business works in addition to your specific job responsibilities. The energy industry is constantly changing and opportunities will open up in the future that don’t exist today. Having a base knowledge of the industry as a whole will allow women to take advantage of those opportunities.

Please describe what you enjoy most about working at Chesapeake Utilities Corporation? What I enjoy most about working at Chesapeake Utilities is the people that I work with every day. They are all very dedicated employees who strive to do their best every day and are always willing to think of creative solutions to any problems that arise.

Jackie Mayan

Senior Manager, Commercial Business Marketing Eastern Shore Natural Gas

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Jackie Mayan

Senior Manager, Commercial Business Marketing, Eastern Shore Natural Gas

As a woman working in the energy field, what challenges do you face? As a woman working in the energy field, the challenge I face is just that – being a woman in a predominately male field. Oftentimes it takes much more effort on our part to prove ourselves. But through programs such as WIE, we can bring about awareness and provide one another support.

What has influenced your career in the energy field? I didn’t grow up with a desire to work in the energy field. I happened to “fall” into the field and quickly developed a passion for energy. I’ve worked on the marketing, communications and business development sides of the industry. I have been fortunate enough to work with extremely smart and passionate individuals in my career. Through their passion and excitement for what the energy field has done and the possibilities of what it can do, it influenced me to be curious, learn as much as I can and gain a special appreciation for energy’s extreme importance in our everyday lives.

What advice would you give to other women who aspire to join or are just starting out in the energy industry? Always say ‘yes’ to opportunities, especially when you have doubt. You’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish by just trying something new.

Develop a network of mentors:

  • Female Industry Leader – this person can assist you with navigating the nuances of being a woman in the industry
  • Male Industry Leader – this person can assist you with their viewpoint of the industry and can give you a different perspective
  • Peer-to-Peer – someone you can compare notes with and share things only a peer may be able to relate to
  • Life coach or similar role - someone that can help you to take the measures you need to take care of you (e.g., healthy work-life balance; develop healthier habits)

Fran Diehl

Manager, Safety & Compliance Florida Public Utilities

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Fran Diehl

Manager, Safety & Compliance, Florida Public Utilities

What advice would you give to other women who aspire to join or are just starting out in the energy industry? Get your foot in the door, use your voice and keep an open mind. Where you start may not be reflective of where you end up. Women have unique perspectives that have the potential to move an organization forward in a variety of ways.

Please describe what you enjoy most about working at Chesapeake Utilities Corporation? I enjoy creating opportunities for employees to have a “lightbulb” moment as it pertains to safety and health. Educating our employees on safe work practices has a trickledown effect that leads to safer utility systems as a whole and safer communities.

What motivates you within the workforce? I am motivated by all of the possibilities in energy. Our company is involved in a variety of energy projects which will create opportunities for the future.

What has influenced your career in the energy field? The diversity of operations at FPU is a plus for me and plays a large role in my learning process and my ability not to get complacent in my thought process. The uniqueness of the individual operational safety and compliance needs is a large influencer of my career at the present time. With energy, there is always a lot to learn.

Teresa Gretencord

Director, Administration Sharp Energy

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Teresa Gretencord

Director, Administration, Sharp Energy

What advice would you give to other women who aspire to join or are just starting out in the energy industry? Learn from your peers, ask them what publications provide good learning material, reach across the teams and take a day to shadow someone. Never stop asking questions.

What are three key responsibilities within your current role? I lead the back office administration team to support our business strategic plan. We work closely with our districts to remove obstacles, provide operational support and support the vision for growth.

What motivates you within the workforce? Every day brings new opportunities to grow our business, improve our customer experience and work with an amazing team.

As a woman working in the energy field, what challenges do you face? I believe that the women in energy who’ve come before me overcame the obstacles that existed for women. Those women paved the way so that I have an equal opportunity in the energy field. The men in our industry have become champions for women, bringing diversity to the industry in the field, offices and leadership teams.

For those who are seeking employment in the energy field, what may you share about the culture at Chesapeake Utilities Corporation? Chesapeake Utilities employs intelligent, knowledge sharing, warm and welcoming people who share the same vision of caring about making connections with their peers, customers and the communities. The culture at Chesapeake Utilities is truly aspiring and caring.

Amy Snyder

Regional Manager PESCO

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Amy Snyder

Manager Origination, Peninsula Energy Services Company (PESCO)

What motivates you within the workforce? I am motivated every day to come to work with an amazing group of individuals.  Everyone is working hard and putting forth the effort to not only grow our business unit but to do it in the most efficient, ethical and sustainable way possible.  I am motivated every day to exceed expectations!

Please describe what you enjoy most about working at Chesapeake Utilities Corporation? It’s by far the people and the culture here.  We work hard toward a common goal and have a great time while doing it.

As a woman working in the energy field, what challenges do you face? As a woman in the energy field it can be a fine line between being assertive without being perceived as pushy, smart without being perceived as condescending. At home it’s a balance between my kids, myself, my husband, the chores etc. And then there is the ultimate balance between being at work and being at home….it can certainly be overwhelming at times. Take those challenges in stride and remember that we all face them in one aspect or another. It really helps to find a network of people you can go to for guidance and or advice whether at work or in your personal life.

For those who are seeking employment in the energy field, what may you share about the culture at Chesapeake Utilities Corporation? People here are very hard working, they are committed not only to the Company but each other and the community as well.  There are so many opportunities here at Chesapeake and you have the ability to take advantage of any number of them.  Not only that, but we have some of the best people in the industry who are always willing to lend a hand. We work hard and we have a lot of fun while doing it.

Kim Gantz

Marketing Representative Aspire Energy

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Kim Gantz

Marketing Representative, Aspire Energy

What inspired you to join the energy industry? I began my career in the energy industry by working for an oil and natural gas drilling company. I was intrigued from the moment I interviewed. One of my first opportunities was to tour an oil rig.

What motivates you within the workforce? I am fortunate to work with a great team and it is fulfilling when we complete a new gas installation for customers that were using another source of fuel.

Do you have any advice for women working in the energy workforce? Don’t be afraid to take risks and develop a good support system at work.

What has influenced your career in the energy field? The opportunities I have experienced in the energy industry have influenced my career. My first position was in natural gas, but when I was given the opportunity to work for an electric utility, I decided to make a change. It was a challenge and meant leaving my comfort zone. The experience was rewarding. The opportunity to return to natural gas came about three years ago and I am enjoying working for Chesapeake Utilities.

Jackie Mildren

Senior Operations Analyst Chesapeake Utilities

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Jackie Mildren

Senior Operations Analyst, Chesapeake Utilities

What motivates you within the workforce? I am motivated by many things. First, I want to succeed for myself and my family. In addition, I aim to be an essential part of my team and remain a reliable, valuable asset.

For those who are seeking employment in the energy field, what may you share about the culture at Chesapeake Utilities Corporation? Chesapeake Utilities Corporation is dedicated to making employees feel valued and remains focused on continued education so that employees can continue to develop the skills to be successful.

What are three key responsibilities within your current role? Three key responsibilities within my current role are:

  • Forecasting workload and resource needs for DNG and FPU Front Office
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPI) reporting for DNG and FPU Front Office
  • Conducting analysis of performance drivers to make efficiency recommendations

Melissa Stamper

Employee Engagement Manager Chesapeake Utilities Corporation

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Melissa Stamper

Employee Engagement Manager, Chesapeake Utilities Corporation

What advice would you give to other women who aspire to join or are just starting out in the energy industry? The energy industry was not on my radar upon completing my undergraduate and graduate degrees many years ago. I didn’t know much about it and didn’t realize that it was more than just operations and field opportunities available but that my field of study could lead me down this path as well. Every career path you can think of can be utilized and accessible in the energy industry. My advice would be to keep an open mind, do your research and explore opportunities that interest you. You never know what will evolve from it.

What motivates you within the workforce? What motivates me within the workforce is the networking with my peers, encouragement from others and the "job well done" that we receive from our internal business partners. There are many facets to the job that we do daily. It’s reassuring to know that the collaboration, the cohesiveness and the brainstorming to ensure we are doing our part to raise the Company profile is rewarding.

Do you have any advice for women working in the energy workforce? Don’t limit yourself! Where you start does not have to be where you finish. The industry is ever evolving. The opportunities are there; we have to tap into them, whether it’s educational opportunities (internal and external), job shadowing, mentoring, WIE program or other avenues that may attribute to your growth and development. What I have learned is that you have to take the lead, seek the opportunities and do your part to position yourself to be ready for them.

Woman in Energy Highlight of the Month

Marissa Stipa

Director, Optimization
PESCO Learn More >

Marissa Stipa

Director, Optimization, PESCO

What are three key responsibilities within your current role? I am charged with maximizing the portfolio of assets in the southeast region for PESCO. In this role I am looking for additional opportunities in the market to bring value from our current book of business. Additionally, I am leading our operations team who is responsible for scheduling and monitoring the physical flow of natural gas to our customers

Do you have any advice for women working in the energy workforce? Women entering the energy industry have many opportunities and challenges ahead of them. My advice is to remain focused but flexible. Focus on the diligence of learning the technical pieces of the energy industry and becoming proficient in the details. However, you should remain flexible and aware of the constantly changing environment. There are times now that the way we used to do something is completely obsolete and we must find new ways to complete the same tasks.

For those who are seeking employment in the energy field, what may you share about the culture at Chesapeake Utilities Corporation? The culture in Chesapeake Utilities Corporation is one that will allow you to connect across the organization and allow you to grow with your career. The most profound part of the culture is the true living of the values of Aspiring and Caring. The aspiring to deliver reliable services to our customers while developing our employees and remaining focused on the results of the Company. The caring is the continued support of the environment, our community and the employees.

Women in Energy Stats

Female employment is projected to account for 185,000 of the total new job opportunities through 2030.*

There are currently over 237,000 women working as engineers, environmental scientists, accountants and technicians in the industry.*

Employment of women in the oil and gas industry rose by 60% Between 2011 and 2014**

* API.org - Women and Minorities in the Natural Gas Industry (2015) **Rigzone

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