The founding members of CMC’s I.D.E.A.s (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access) Council were recently announced. The employee-led Council will support the organization’s ongoing conversation about diversity. The Council’s purpose is to identify issues and opportunities related to diversity, vet ideas and identify steps that CMC can take to address racism and other equity issues. The Council will support CMC’s efforts to cultivate a genuine culture of diversity, where our team members can be their authentic selves and feel nurtured in the workplace.

CMC is excited to welcome the members of this new initiative. To highlight the employees who stepped up to be a part of the Council, we would like to share some of their thoughts on why they wanted to participate in the Council and how they’d like to contribute to making a change. Ultimately, CMC plans to bring together the entire CMC family for a second broader conversation about diversity.

Please join us in welcoming the following members of the I.D.E.A.s Council:

Agbesi Akpedonu, Outreach, PA
Desiree Collazo-Soto, Program Marketing, PA
Patricia Forero, Outreach, PA
Hailey Lavoie, Customer Service, MA
Kate Robinson, Human Resources, PA
Richard Rocket, Technician, IL
Lauren Verbrugge, Administration, PA
Joyletta White, Information Technology, PA

The Council is sponsored by Tina Bennett, President & CEO, MA and Yvette Brown, Senior Director, Marketing & Commercial Services, PA.

The I.D.E.A.s Council will work together to engage in open and honest conversations about diversity without judgment to drive authentic and actionable results. It’s our belief that engaging in these sometimes uncomfortable conversations lead to the greatest results. We are hopeful that these unfiltered conversations will help CMC make valuable improvements and continue to grow.

I.D.E.A.s Council Members: In Their Own Words

Richard Rocket

“I was interested in joining the Council because I think it is needed. If this committee can change just one person’s perspective on the issues of diversity and racism, I think it will be successful. As an African American male in this country, I have firsthand knowledge and ideas on how I personally deal with these subjects in my own life. Sometimes folks don’t really know what is acceptable to others or have a real understanding of it. This is an educational opportunity for us to work together and come up with positive solutions that work.”

Hailey Lavoie

“I was interested in joining the Council because I am disappointed by what is happening in our country and across the world, watching people being treated inhumanely over things they cannot control, such as ethnicity, sexual orientation and where they were born. I believe as a nation we can do better. I want to be part of a Council that allows everyone to know that someone cares for them and is fighting with or for them. I hope to contribute ideas for community service and get as many people involved as possible. I want to be a part of creating a safe environment where everyone feels welcome and validated and am hoping to be a voice that helps build bridges to unite everyone.”

Patricia Forero

“I have always been cognizant of racial and ethnic differences growing up and have had opportunities to expand my interactions with people from many different backgrounds. I’m interested in learning what roadblocks and challenges others experience – and from this dialogue, to grow my understanding, empathy and growth. And I’m looking forward to sharing our thoughts and experiences in truly open and honest discussions and showing my support for others with compassion and love.”

If you have ideas, concerns or would like to share your thoughts about diversity and inclusion at CMC, email ideascouncil@cmcenergy.com to speak directly with your Council members.

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