Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
“The Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Council will report directly to me and I look forward to sharing Chesapeake’s ongoing diversity plan with you in the near future. In addition to the work that we need to do internally, I think our Company has an obligation to be a leader in the communities where we live and work. Our customers, the very people our businesses depend on, represent a multitude of races, religions and ethnic groups. Chesapeake employees have a long history of assuming leadership roles and supporting through contributions and volunteerism for organizations that serve these diverse populations. But that’s not enough. We are a respected organization in our communities and we need to speak out and promote real change to the benefit of everyone. We have to increase our efforts to support the improvement of relationships between people in our service areas. We must take those steps to demonstrate Chesapeake’s commitment to a leadership role in overcoming intolerance, prejudice and hate. As employees, each of us has a responsibility to treat each other with respect and dignity. As a Company, we should set the bar for responsible action and lead by example. We have an opportunity to continue to make our Company a better place to work. And we have the responsibility to make our communities a better place to live. I look forward to walking this road with you, finding a way each day to make a difference.”
Jeff Householder, President and CEO
Jeff Householder, President and CEO, appointed Cheryl Martin, Vice President, Regulatory & Governmental Affairs; and Debbie Smith, Community Engagement Manager, as the co-chairs of the recently formed Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Council, comprised of the following team members:
- Tina Barrington, HR Business Partner
- Terrence Brown, Field Collector II
- Rhondan Gray, Assistant Operations Manager
- Jose Hernandez, Supervisor, Gas Operations
- Kira Lake, Director, Growth Retention & Analysis
- Jackie Mayan, Business Development Manager
- Lindsay Orr, Associate General Counsel
- Leb Stepherson, Builder Sales and Account Manager
- Jeff Sylvester, EDI Executive Sponsor
- Skip Waller, HR Generalist
- Tamara Wimberly, Propane Clerk
“Our newly created Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Council is focused on consolidating, developing and supporting a program and initiative to encourage, support and strengthen diversity and inclusion at our Company and in our communities. As part of our Company’s business transformation, we’re committed to equality. It must be a key component of our culture. Equity, diversity & inclusion in the workplace means that we’ll create a work environment where everyone feels engaged, valued and respected regardless of race, age, physical ability, sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity or religion. This can also include things like income levels, education levels, parental status, geographic location and positions as well as other aspects that make us all unique and different. While our efforts had been underway our EDI Council is just beginning.”
Cheryl Martin, Vice President, Regulatory & Governmental Affairs; and EDI Council Co-Chair
Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Council Mission:
“Our team will reflect the communities that we serve and our commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion will drive our business strategies, policies and procedures, individual development and community outreach.”
“Chesapeake Utilities has embarked on a journey that will take us places that we have never been before and I am excited and energized to be a part of that journey. As we continue to take those bold and courageous steps toward equity, diversity and inclusion, I am confident that Chesapeake Utilities will be greater and stronger on the other side and more reflective of the communities where we live, work and serve. Our differences will make us stronger! #EquityDiversityAndInclusionMatters, #ChesapeakeUtilitiesCorporationForward
Debbie Smith, Community Engagement Manager, Communications; and EDI Council Co-Chair
The EDI Council held its initial meeting on June 11 and continues to collaborate weekly to develop a consolidated framework and work on initiatives to help us meet our mission and goals. The council is currently establishing groups and subcommittees related to equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts at our Company. As part of this effort, the EDI Council is considering establishing one or more Employee Resource Groups (ERGs).
ERGs are voluntary employee-led groups whose aim is to foster equitable, diverse, and inclusive relationships in the workplace that align with our Company’s beliefs. ERGs generally provide support and assistance with career and personal development, while complementing the Company’s EDI initiatives. These groups are led by employees who share similar characteristics and/or life experiences, such as gender, race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, lifestyle, or interest. Examples of ERGs include, but are not limited to, Women, African American or Black, Hispanic, Jewish, LGBTQ, Young Professionals, Veterans and Military Reservists.
The groups and subcommittees established by the EDI Council will focus on targeted areas, including Employee Retention, Recruitment, and Advancement; Practices, Policies, and Procedures; Education Development and Awareness; EDI Communications; Community Support; and Contractor/Vendor processes and procedures. The EDI Council will also explore options to develop, track, and establish benchmarks that measure performance and assist in achieving the EDI mission.
Kira Lake, Director, Growth, Retention & Analysis; and EDI council member, presented a WIE Huddle about Employee Resource Groups.
Check out the EDI communications shared with employees since the EDI Council’s initial meeting on June 11.
A Message from the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Council
LGBTQ Pride Month is a time to celebrate LGBTQ members in our workforce and our community. This tribute recognizes those involved in the Stonewall Riots on June 28, 1969, in New York City.
As we near June 28, we want to take this time to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, a pivotal event in the movement toward LGBTQ rights in our country.
The Stonewall Riots were a series of demonstrations by members of the LGBTQ community in response to an early morning police raid at the Stonewall Inn, located in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan.
Since that time, many yearly events and marches occur during Pride Month to demonstrate for LGBTQ legal rights and acceptance.
As a Company, we need to commit, not only to a diverse workforce, but to an inclusive workforce as well. The two go hand in hand.
So, how do we get there?
It begins by creating an atmosphere where our employees know their voices will be heard, and that they can bring their whole selves to work. Employees thrive when they are authentic and feel that they are valued and respected.
Employees also need to feel a sense of belonging by contributing to team and Company success. Inclusion has been shown to increase Company productivity and employee engagement. It matters!
Our newly named Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Council continues to tackle these very important topics, weekly.
Our leaders, from the very top-down at Chesapeake Utilities, understand and support a culture that embraces equity, diversity and inclusion. It is simply the right thing to do.
Together, we will endeavor to improve this Company, the communities we serve and our country by embracing our differences, learning from each other, encouraging and supporting one another and striving to be an increasingly equitable, diverse and inclusive Company.