Larry Laws is the 2023 winner of a legacy award named for retired utility executive and 2004 Black Engineer of the Year Anthony R. James, president and CEO of Savannah Electric and Power Company from 2001 through 2005. Laws has consistently delivered electrical services to Baltimore Gas & Electric’s 1.3 million customers.
A U.S. Army veteran, Laws began his career as a relay and control technician in 2006. He has advanced to director of distribution system operations, a critical operations leadership position at BGE. He has also transformed BGE’s mission for leading the charge and furthering racial justice.
Laws is a board of directors member at a Baltimore-based nonprofit space where people can nurture their spirits and gain self-sufficiency. He is also a founding member of BGE’s Racially Inclusive, Safe, and Equitable (RISE) employee resource group. The impact of RISE is directly due to his participation and direction. His passion for inclusivity has helped BGE roll out an educational series, panel discussions, and community partnerships.
“I knew this was going to be hard work,” Laws said in his speech at the Historically Black College and University Engineering Deans Recognition event at the 2023 BEYA STEM Conference. I knew this was going to be emotional and controversial. But it was necessary and long overdue. The work of the courageous individual I lead has helped move the pendulum to swing in a more equitable position. A position where all can feel they belong and have an equal opportunity.”
Laws said being recognized on stage at this pivotal time was fantastic. Still, he encouraged the audience to seize the opportunity to create environments of equality, respect, and belonging. “In the words of Kobe Bryant, the job is not done. We have more to do. So let’s work together.”
Dr. James W. Mitchell is the 1993 Black Engineer of the Year, a noted researcher, inventor, author, and speaker. He joined Bell Laboratories in 1970 and became head of the analytical chemistry research department at Bell Labs. He was the first to be named a Bell Labs Fellow and one of few African Americans in the National Academy of Engineering. Dr. Mitchell contributed to the increased global competitiveness in the U.S. electronics and communications industry.
Driven to find the fun in his work, Jared Gavin (photo inset) has worked to improve confluence training material and documentation. He is a subject matter expert for satellite waveforms and test automation Gavin enjoys his position as a specialist software engineer on technical projects.
At L3 Harris Technologies, his positive attitude toward complex challenges renders him eager to learn and develop new skills.
“This recognition reflects the encouraging work culture prioritized at L3 Harris and practiced by my direct managers, mentors, and peers,” Gavin said. “My motivation stems from helping others in areas I struggle through myself. I aim to improve those areas and eliminate the struggle for the next person. Striving to produce quality work, emphasizing improvement, and being a dependable resource are traits my parents instilled in me.”
Gavin’s tips for success? “Know what motivates you, know who built you up, and never give up learning something new.”