Washington DC – Hispanics In Energy (HIE), a non-profit organization established in 2012 to promote Hispanic inclusion in the U.S. energy industry, has built an industry network of more than 8,000 across the nation. On February 13, HIE recognized four individuals with its Visionary Hispanic Energy Leaders Award at Washington, D.C.’s Capitol View Rotunda. The gathering attracted a diverse crowd of utility regulators, elected, appointed, community and corporate leaders. Guests included American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE), The Latino Coalition, Asian Americans in Energy, the Environment, and Commerce, Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, utility commissioners from Illinois, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Missouri and Michigan and energy executives.
The Visionary Hispanic Energy Leaders Award recognizes exceptional professional achievements and steadfast commitment to advancing Hispanics in the energy sector. Giving opening remarks, Congressman Tony Cardenas (D-CA), a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, spoke about his experience as an engineer and former business owner. He described the irrefutable value of diversity in public service and the private sector and its positive impact in public policy and bottom-line decision making.
With numbers of over 55 million and growing, Hispanic Americans are the largest minority group in the United States. Yet few Hispanics are involved in key executive energy industry positions or are engaged in developing substantial business relationships. A study conducted by Hispanics in Energy in 2017 reported that only four out of 198 utility commissioners in the United States are Hispanic.
According to the Federal Energy Information Administration, American consumers pay $1.27 trillion for energy every year, not including investments and other expenditures. All told, it is estimated the industry does about $1.7 trillion dollars in business a year.
The award recipients, influential, pioneering leaders in public service and corporate America, oversee energy policy, regulation, system affordability, reliability and sustainability, one of America’s most robust economic sectors, and are extraordinary champions of the Hispanic community:
- The Honorable John R. Rosales, a member of the Illinois Commerce Commission, was the first Hispanic appointed to the board of directors of the influential National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). He is known as a natural leader and for his success in media and the private sector. He is president of the Organizations of PJM states and vice chair of the NARUC Electricity Committee.
- The Honorable Sadzi Martha Oliva, also a member of the Illinois Commerce Commission, just completed her first year and was recognized as Rookie Utility Commissioner for 2017 by Public Utilities FortNightly magazine. Commissioner Oliva is the first Latina to serve on the Illinois Commerce Commission and is one of three Latinas who serve as an influential utility commissioner in the country. Oliva is an attorney with solid government experience and is well positioned to promote policies that benefit all the stakeholders in Illinois and across the country.
- The Honorable Nelson Diaz, a former judge, helped to organize the Latino Corporate Directors Association (LCDA) headquartered in Washington, D.C. and has been instrumental in assisting to restore power to the hurricane-ravaged island of Puerto Rico. He is a former member of energy company board of directors that serve gas and electricity. He has championed diversity and inclusion initiatives impacting the energy industry. Diaz served as an appointee in the Clinton administration under former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros.
- Joseph Dominguez, executive vice president for governmental and regulatory affairs and public policy at Exelon Corporation, leads the development and implementation of federal, state, and regional governmental, regulatory, and public policy strategies for the nation's largest electric utility company by customer count. Dominguez, an early supporter of Hispanics In Energy, also co-founded the Association of Latino Energy and Environmental Professionals and serves on the board of the Corporate Advisory Council of Congreso de Latinos Unidos. He played a key role in Exelon’s efforts to bring 140 Exelon line mechanics, crew leaders and safety personnel to Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria to help restore power to the island.
“These individuals exemplify the best of America’s Hispanic community and serve as outstanding public policy makers, regulators and corporate executives,” said Jose L. Perez, Chairman and CEO of Hispanics In Energy. “Every one of these individuals would make any American proud of their character, ability and effectiveness on behalf of the greater good of the public,” he said..
Hispanics In Energy’s mission is to promote Hispanic inclusion in the U.S. energy industry and works to represent the 55 million Hispanic Americans in policy, corporate governance, business, jobs, philanthropy, and Spanish language access. It is an all-encompassing energy sector non-profit organization created in 2012. For more information please visit www.hispanicsinenergy.com.