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Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest utility and principal subsidiary of CMS Energy, held a one-day Diversity and Inclusion Summit at the James B. Henry Center for Executive Development in Lansing, MI, Thursday, August 30.

Highlights of the event included a conversation with Patti Poppe, president and CEO of CMS Energy and Consumers Energy, and Alicia Boler Davis, executive vice president of Global Manufacturing for General Motors, and the 2018 Black Engineer of the Year. The discussion featuring the two executives incorporated the event’s theme “Striving to Build a More Inclusive Michigan Workforce.”
CEO Action

More than 200 leaders and decision makers from Michigan-based corporations, universities, civic organizations and state and local municipalities attended the event.

CEOs included U.S. Chairman of PwC  Timothy F. Ryan, who led a CEO corporate diversity pledge drive last fall, and  Career Communications Group CEO Tyrone Taborn, who is photographed in front of the “Check Your Blind Spots” mobile bus.

The mobile tour, which is hosted by CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, is designed to help facilitate more open and honest conversations in university communities and workplaces.

CEO Action, the outcome of Ryan’s push in November 2017, is now the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace, with more than 450 CEOs of the world’s leading companies and business organizations.

Panel Discussions

Thursday’s CMS Energy Diversity and Inclusion Summit also featured panel discussions on the talent pipeline, how privilege disguises diversity,  including best practices throughout Michigan, understanding the new business case for diversity and inclusion, and the importance and benefits of employee resource groups.

Monica Emerson, principal of Inclusive Performance Solutions, served as moderator for “The Possibilities of Privilege” seminar.

On the panel were Andrew Bordine, executive director of grid infrastructure, Consumers Energy, Steve Spreitzer, president and CEO, Michigan Roundtable for Diversity & Inclusion, and Trevor Thomas, corporate political affairs director, Consumers Energy.

“Monica did a great job,” wrote Alicia Boler Davis in an email. “I enjoy sharing my experiences and I especially enjoyed being there with Patti.”

The summit aims to highlight the importance of transparency, business alignment and best practices surrounding diversity and inclusion.

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