The women of Chesapeake bring dedication, innovation and expertise. Our employees aspire to do their best every day. And, as our industry grows, so does the talent and skill of our people, including the females who work in the office and field. We hope their stories and experience, shared below, will inspire others to explore careers in the industry, and help us put new energy in the workforce.
Senior Manager, Energy Logistics & Business Process Development Florida Public Utilities Company
Senior Manager, Energy Logistics & Business Process Development, FPU
What inspired you to join the energy industry? Originally, I was inspired to join the energy industry because I wanted to know more about one of the industries that make life happen. When I joined, I really did not know much about energy and all of the amazing parts and pieces. From my naïve perspective, there were poles and wires that magically electrified my life. Living in South Florida, I had no idea about natural gas or propane usage, especially in the state of Florida. A zest for learning was my biggest motivating factor. Eight years later, I am so thankful that I started down this journey!
You oversee a number of high importance projects. In rising as a woman leader in energy, what specific lessons would you share about the experience related to leading such projects? I have learned one specific lesson that I believe applies to anyone when it comes to leading a project – Don’t take things personally. I know most professionals in the business space are aware that business is business; however, projects can be more difficult. The difference between a project and a routine activity, for me, is that projects have a way of consuming you, not just while at work, but throughout your free time. Many people can get attached to their projects, which makes sense, as buy in is a critical step in the process. It’s important to remember, however, that it is just a step. If for some reason the project is scratched, you have learned valuable lessons and insight along the way. If it veers to a different direction than expected, it is likely because the company needed to be agile to keep up with requirements from outside forces. Do not take it personally. It has nothing to do with the work you have accomplished.
What advice would you give to other women who aspire to join or are just starting out in the energy industry? Be authentic, be open, and ask questions!
Describe the energy industry using one word, and share with us why you chose this word. “ENERGIZING.” I know that might sound a bit corny, but this industry gives life! We literally get the chance to impact lives on a daily basis. We supply the world with what is needed to make life happen. At this time in the industry, as everything is evolving, from the creation and exploration of energy sources to the savviness of our consumers, we are being kept on our toes. It is energizing and invigorating to get to be a part of the energy revolution! We have a chance to question everything in order to prepare for the future. It is an industry of endless possibilities!
Engineering Clerk Florida Public Utilities
Engineering Clerk, Florida Public Utilities
What was your role when you began with the Company? I began with Sharp Energy in 2012 as a Customer Service Representative. I was responsible for assisting walk in customers with payments and account management questions. I also had a variety of clerical duties and office related tasks. After working with a great mentor at Sharp, I was promoted to Propane Clerk in the West Palm Beach office of Florida Public Utilities which is a subsidiary company of Chesapeake Utilities. After only a year I was promoted to a natural gas Customer Service Representative position in the Debary office within FPU. I quickly moved into my current role as Engineering Clerk. I have found that hard work and dedication will take you far within this company as they often promote within.
Please describe what you enjoy most about working at Chesapeake Utilities Corporation? Of all the many things I love about Chesapeake the most important factor for me is the family like atmosphere. I have worked in 3 different offices, in 2 states (1000 miles away from each other) and had 4 different job positions and through all of that change and transition within our company, I never lost that family feel. The faces and locations may have changed, but the culture and values never wavered.
Do you have any advice for women working in the energy workforce? My advice would be to remain open to learn new things as often as you can. Try to learn things that don’t necessarily pertain to your job duties, but will help you understand more of our business practices. Knowledge is power. Surround yourself with people that share your same mindset. I have had the pleasure of meeting so many great women within this company that are very supportive, uplifting and encouraging. I was lucky enough to find a fantastic mentor and role model in Lynn Muir, who was the Customer Service Manager at Sharp Energy, and for her I will forever be grateful.
Operations Analysis Manager Chesapeake Utilities
Operations Analysis Manager, Chesapeake Utilities
What are three key responsibilities within your current role? I manage a team of analysts and provide the leadership and assistance necessary to enable them to effectively perform their daily tasks. I act as a liaison between the business unit and outside departments, such as Accounting, in order to facilitate accurate and timely analysis and reporting. I assist the Director of Business Operations within my business unit with forecasting and budgeting.
What is a typical work day for you? A typical day for me is busy and full of spontaneity- but fun! Each day comes with its own set of challenges, but working through them together is what builds great working relationships. My department is like a close-knit family. Though we are all hard working and very busy, there are times during the day that we all share a laugh about something and it helps make the day enjoyable. I enjoy coming to work!
What motivates you within the workforce, especially at Chesapeake Utilities Corporation?
What motivates me within the workforce is my desire to strive for personal excellence in all areas of my life, including my career. My goal is to be a role model for my daughter and show her that hard work, dedication and genuine kindness pays off and that it should be reflected in both your personal and professional demeanor.
I try to be the kind of woman who balances strength and humility and who, while continually seeking to advance her career, remains respectful and considerate of others at all times. My desire to be viewed as an asset to the company motivates me to work hard and put forth my best effort.
Assistant Vice President of Customer Care Chesapeake Utilities Corporation
Assistant Vice President of Customer Care, Chesapeake Utilities Corporation
What are three key responsibilities within your current role? My role consists of many responsibilities, including setting the strategic direction for the Customer Care organization, aligning to the goals and objectives of the business units we support, and executing on the strategy. I’m responsible for building and leading teams while developing people. Additionally I am responsible for aligning, communicating and collaborating. Business today moves rapidly. Employees have to be nimble and collaborate to solve new and complex business problems.
What motivates you within the workforce? The ability to make a difference in people’s lives. I realized many years ago that leadership is about serving. The ability to shape and influence the future of a team, a company, the community, and the lives of employees keeps me going. I enjoy helping others achieve their goals, whether personal or professional. I think that comes from being a mom.
Do you have any advice for women working in the energy workforce?
Learn continually about the industry, your specific field, and leadership. The world is changing and managing and leading techniques are always evolving.
Ask questions and be curious. It’s ok to question and challenge conventional wisdom. Keep asking why. Be assertive, don’t wait for someone to give you the answer- seek the answer.
Look for mentors and coaches
Know yourself and your passion
Grow your strengths and minimize your weaknesses. Some of the best advice I received was to focus on developing strengths. A great example of this was when my daughter was growing up, she was an athlete. She needed help practicing on evenings and weekends. No matter how hard I tried, helping her in the different sports was futile because I am not an athlete. Using my networking and encouragement skills, I found her support that could practice with her and offered tremendous encouragement. I knew my strengths and weaknesses and used them to my advantage.
Don’t be afraid to try new things
Director, Business Operations Chesapeake Utilities
Director, Business Operations, Chesapeake Utilities
What is a typical work day for you? No day is typical or exactly like the next for me. I attend diverse meetings, participate on several committees, advise various departments on financial and administrative manners, create policies and procedures, train team members, perform audit functions and provide leadership.
Please describe what you enjoy most about working at Chesapeake Utilities Corporation? The collaboration and brainstorming among knowledgeable peers coupled with the opportunity to demonstrate strong leadership skills to guide the organization to success.
Do you have any advice for women working in the energy workforce?
The advice I’d like to share applies to all women in any career:
• It is important to achieve a work-life balance.
• Work to build healthy, long-lasting and meaningful relationships.
• Don’t forget who you are and that while we are natural givers, we also need “me” time.
• Keep an open mind and learn as much as you can from various viewpoints, keeping you well-rounded.
Gas Control Manager Eastern Shore Natural Gas
Gas Control Manager, Eastern Shore Natural Gas
What are three key responsibilities within your current role? I manage a team of Gas Controllers and SCADA Administrators who work in a 24/7 control room. We are responsible for safe, efficient and reliable operations of the transmission pipeline system. We are also responsible for the administration, operations and maintenance of SCADA hardware, software, databases and communications equipment throughout the pipeline system, in the control room and at the compressor stations.
What motivates you within the workforce, especially at Chesapeake Utilities Corporation? I feel empowered here at Chesapeake. I love the Company and I love my job. I strive to set the example for both of my kids that women can be leaders in the workforce and leaders in the home. I want my daughter to know she can grow up and be whatever she wants to be and my son to know that his future wife can do the same.
Do you have any advice for women working in the energy workforce? Jump in! Break the mold! Seriously, it can be a very rewarding and satisfying career path that offers many opportunities across all lines of work.
Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary Chesapeake Utilities Corporation
Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary, Chesapeake Utilities Corporation
What was your role when you began with the Company? I began working for Chesapeake Utilities in 1990 as a Treasury Analyst I. I have moved through various roles in the Corporate office during my tenure.
What are three key responsibilities within your current role? I have responsibility for the overall financial condition of the Company, ensuring the necessary financial controls are in place to ensure the accuracy and integrity of our financial reports and securing the necessary capital to meet the Company’s growth. Simply put, my team helps in financial planning and budgeting, accounting for the results of our businesses in compliance with our many controls, reporting on those results and then cultivating and nurturing relationships with investors to ensure we can continue to grow.
What motivates you within the workforce, especially at Chesapeake Utilities Corporation?
I am continually motivated by my team and the desire to participate in helping this Company achieve everything that it can be. In my mind, there really are no limits.
I would also answer this question with the word “WOMEN”:
W = working with so many wonderful people, both men and women
O = opportunities that are unlimited in regards to making a difference
M = meaningful work and nonstop challenges
E = engagement with my team, the business units, my peers, the Board of Directors and our investors
N = never ending change and pursuit of new aspirations
Please describe what you enjoy most about working at Chesapeake Utilities Corporation? Chesapeake provides diversity on so many fronts. We are small cap company with all the complexities of the Fortune 500 companies (and perhaps even more complexities) coupled with an aspiring and caring culture that underlies our success. Employees have the opportunity to make an impact on day one. Working at Chesapeake I have experienced so many things that would not be possible at both larger and smaller companies – it is the best blend of all.
District Manager Sharp Energy
District Manager, Sharp Energy
What is your professional and/or educational background? I have 21 years in the propane industry with Sharp Energy. I started as a Customer Service Representative and have worked in just about every piece of the operation in that time. I transitioned to a Dispatcher, Service Manager, Delivery Manager, District Operations Manager, Operations Analyst and I was recently promoted to a District Manager for the Company.
What motivates you within the workforce, especially at Chesapeake Utilities Corporation? My love for problem solving and bringing structure to chaotic situations. I enjoy learning and producing new ideas, and contributing to the growth and overall success of our company.
Do you have any advice for women working in the energy workforce? Align yourself with other like- minded women, choose good mentors and absorb as much information as possible. Do not be afraid to step outside of your comfort level or think outside the box. Hold yourself accountable and be consistent in your approach to the work.
For those who are seeking employment in the energy field, what may you share about the culture at Chesapeake Utilities Corporation? The company truly does care about their people, as well as the community. As an employee of Chesapeake Utilities it is a given that you will have the feeling of being a part of something so much bigger than just a job.
Propane Operations Manager Florida Public Utilities
Propane Operations Manager, Florida Public Utilities
What is a typical work day for you? I am currently the Manager of Propane Operations for South Florida. Safety is our top daily responsibility, but in addition I consistently ensure my team provides the best service and customer experience at all times. We work meticulously to grow our division and become one of the top suppliers within the industry.
What motivates you within the workforce, especially at Chesapeake Utilities Corporation? For me, it’s about being a fundamental part in changing the propane business flow within Florida Public Utilities as well as the energy industry as a whole.
Please describe what you enjoy most about working at Chesapeake Utilities Corporation?
really enjoy how employees exemplify our organization’s culture of encouragement. We support each other and care for our colleagues. We are business oriented while still maintaining a family atmosphere.
Our culture is strong and solid and we are committed to reaching greater heights as a team.
Business Services Manager Florida Public Utilities
Business Services Manager, Florida Public Utilities
What are three key responsibilities within your current role? I currently work as the Business Services Manager and oversee three major departments: Energy Conservation, Energy Logistics and the Growth and Retention Administrative group. Three of my key responsibilities are to manage the Company’s Energy Conservation programs and expenses, oversee the Transportation Services functions of the Energy Logistics department and supervise the Growth and Retention Administrative group which administratively supports the Sales and Marketing teams.
Do you have any advice for women working in the energy workforce? My advice would just be to get involved and to learn as much as you can. I started my professional career in an industry I knew nothing about, but I was eager to learn. Because of that, I was able to develop knowledge and skills in the area of Energy Conservation and I’m now learning more about the Transportation Services side of our business. I really believe that my willingness to take on new challenges, even when they’re outside of my comfort zone, has led to my success at the Company.
For those who are seeking employment in the energy field, what may you share about the culture at Chesapeake Utilities Corporation? The culture at Chesapeake Utilities Corporation is great! The Company values its employees and their safety and consistently promotes the values of integrity, personal connection and perseverance. I always feel empowered to present my ideas to others in the company and to make decisions for the benefit of our customers.
Supervisor, Gas Operations Compliance Florida Public Utilities
Supervisor, Gas Operations Compliance, Florida Public Utilities
What is a typical work day for you? A brief summary of my typical day is working with the natural gas operations personnel on how to make our internal processes more efficient and standard throughout our company. Monitoring and working with Operations toward the migration of our compliance activities into our IFS software system.
What is your professional and/or educational background? Before coming to Florida Public Utilities, I was a stay at home mom and worked part time at The Home Depot for 8 years. Since I have been employed with FPU I have worked as a Customer Care Rep, Senior Propane Clerk, Field Coordinator, GRIP Coordinator and I am currently the Supervisor of Natural Gas Operations Compliance. I am also attending college working toward a Bachelor’s Degree in business.
What motivates you within the workforce, especially at Chesapeake Utilities Corporation? The positive, caring and innovative atmosphere is what motivates me here at Florida Public Utilities. I feel that Senior Management has real passion for success and they encourage all employees to be the best we can be.
As a woman working in the energy field, what challenges do you face? In my experience working in the construction field and now as a supervisor in operations I have been faced with needing to earn respect and credibility by having to prove my industry knowledge through my performance.
Financial Administration Manager Sharp Energy
Financial Administration Manager, Sharp Energy
What was your role when you began with the Company? I began my career at Chesapeake Utilities Corporation immediately after college, with a role in the Internal Audit department. From there, I transitioned to accounting where I was promoted several times before moving to Sharp Energy, a Chesapeake Utilities Corporation subsidiary, where I currently serve as the Manager of Financial Administration.
Please describe what you enjoy most about working at Chesapeake Utilities Corporation? What I enjoy most about working at Chesapeake is our culture. To me, it feels like a family; somewhere I know I am supported, encouraged and that I can always count on those around me. There isn’t a day that I dread coming to work. I also highly value our community outreach and the connections we make within our communities. It sets the family-like and caring culture both internally and externally.
As a woman working in the energy field, what challenges do you face? Within the energy field, leaders have historically been men. It is incredibly empowering that now more and more women are taking on leadership roles and it allows women to realize they can aspire for the same. Especially when you have examples, such as Elaine Bittner, who demonstrates that you can be a woman starting out in the business units and that the opportunity is there to rise through the ranks and eventually receive Female Executive of the Year - what better example is there for a woman than that!
Operations Dispatcher Aspire Energy
Operations Dispatcher, Aspire Energy
What is a typical work day for you? Most of my day is spent processing and dispatching OUPS tickets, we receive 100+ daily. Mixed in with that daily is reviewing charts while handling requests from producers and field technicians.
What motivates you within the workforce, especially at Chesapeake Utilities Corporation? I believe it is important to always give 100 percent to a job and make sure what needs to be done is done.
For those who are seeking employment in the energy field, what may you share about the culture at Chesapeake Utilities Corporation? Chesapeake is a great place to work; the Company truly cares and supports all of its employees and encourages personal and professional advancement!
Senior Meter Reader Florida Public Utilities
Senior Meter Reader, Florida Public Utilities
Please describe what you enjoy most about working at Chesapeake Utilities Corporation? I enjoy getting out into the community which the company supports through volunteer programs. Last year, I had the opportunity to be a chairperson on our local Jackson County Back the Badge program. This group gathers donations and hosts a large luncheon and provides giveaways for local Law Enforcement, Firefighters and First Responders.
Do you have any advice for women working in the energy workforce? Enjoy the job and be safe doing it.
For those who are seeking employment in the energy field, what may you share about the culture at Chesapeake Utilities Corporation? Great company to work for. Be positive and be willing to learn something different. Always have the attitude that you will give that extra effort to get the job done.
Info Systems Business Analyst Chesapeake Utilities Corporation
Info Systems Business Analyst, Chesapeake Utilities Corporation
What are three key responsibilities within your current role? As an Information Systems Business Analyst, I serve as a liaison between the Chesapeake Utilities Corporations transportation company, Eastern Shore Natural Gas (ESNG), and the technology teams in order to maintain strong connections and build a better understanding of ESNG’s business requirements. I analyze complex business processes to determine opportunities to streamline and automate processes and functions to support future business unit growth.
What motivates you within the workforce, especially at Chesapeake Utilities Corporation?
As a team oriented and results oriented individual, I enjoy working with various teams and applying my business knowledge and technical skills to resolve complex business problems. I am fortunate that I work with extremely talented business and technical teams at Chesapeake Utilities Corporation, with a collective vision to prosper and succeed.
Motivation and enthusiasm seem to be an indivisible part of our daily workplace which drives all team members to raise the bar and strive to collectively and effectively conquering the most complex challenges.
For those who are seeking employment in the energy field, what may you share about the culture at Chesapeake Utilities Corporation?
The culture at Chesapeake Utilities Corporation is a truly aspiring and caring. From the minute employees and customers walk into a Chesapeake office, they sense this is a different workplace with a unique culture where the corporate values are displayed, the positive atmosphere and the professionalism is evident and employees are a pleasure to work with.
Outside the workplace, the corporation encourages employees to share our aspiring and caring practices and participate in numerous community outreach programs, such as Connecting Generations, a youth mentoring program at our local schools, the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Woman and supporting the Food Bank of Delaware to feed hundreds of families over the holiday seasons.
Our employees are motivated by the caring and aspiring culture driven by the leadership team and the company mission. I am proud to be a part of the Chesapeake Utilities Corporation family and living the values every day!
Energy Distribution Manager Sharp Energy
Energy Distribution Manager, Sharp Energy
What are three key responsibilities within your current role? In my current role I am responsible for the distribution of propane supply as well as maintaining relationships with suppliers and wholesale customers for both Sharp and Florida Public Utilities, a Chesapeake subsidiary. Our group also completes all of the administrative duties that go along with the purchase of supply and wholesale sales in addition to providing support services for retail.
Do you have any advice for women working in the energy workforce? Be a sponge. Absorb all of the knowledge and information that you have access to and use it to your benefit to become strong and confident in your current position and for your future.
As a woman working in the energy field, what challenges do you face? Let’s face it, in this industry and more specifically the wholesale and supply segment, women are greatly outnumbered. I think with every first encounter there is an unspoken challenge to make an impression in order to be taken seriously in the future.
For those who are seeking employment in the energy field, what may you share about the culture at Chesapeake Utilities Corporation? The culture at Chesapeake is one of opportunity. You are in control of your own destiny because Chesapeake is willing to invest in its employees through education and a true effort to promote from within.
Director of Corporate Governance Chesapeake Utilities Corporation
Director of Corporate Governance, Chesapeake Utilities Corporation
What are three key responsibilities within your current role?
Assist our SVP, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary with governance related matters
Collaborate with members of our team across the organization on information security related matters
Support our business units on various initiatives that enhance operations, gain efficiencies and grow the business
What motivates you within the workforce, especially at Chesapeake Utilities Corporation? Each day, professionals here at Chesapeake make a difference in their workplace and the communities we serve. Being part of a caring, dedicated and focused team leads us on a journey that motivates us to achieve greater things.
Do you have any advice for women working in the energy workforce? Women in any industry should be limitless in their opportunities. Enjoy the challenges that come with new opportunities and be dedicated in your approach to developing solutions.
As a woman working in the energy field, what challenges do you face? The energy industry, as with other industries, is consistently evolving as the external environment becomes increasingly dynamic in terms of customer experience, regulatory environment, and business economics. As leaders in our fields, it is important to remain abreast of these factors and their application to organizations.
Director, Optimization PESCO
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.