Patricia K. Poppe

Member Spotlight

Patricia K. Poppe, President & CEO — Consumers Energy Jackson

MY BUSINESS…MYSELF

Consumers Energy is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy. We are Michigan’s largest energy provider and the 4th largest combination utility in the country. Headquartered in Jackson, Mich., we proudly provide natural gas and electricity to 6.7 million Michigan residents, serving every county within the Lower Peninsula.

We have been around for over 130 years. My father worked here his entire career when I was growing up. When I became President and CEO of CMS and Consumers Energy in July of 2016 it was, in a way, a homecoming. This company means a lot to me. It’s a privilege to lead a team focused on building a world class utility that provides hometown service to our friends and neighbors around the state.

GREATEST CHALLENGE

Right now, talent is a big concern. Michigan is the 10th oldest state in the nation, with a median age of 39.6 – and we’re not attracting the talent we need to replace professionals who are aging out of the workforce. There is a real need to build the focus on skilled trades in our schools and colleges and provide graduates with solid career paths.

GREATEST OPPORTUNITY

We’re at an inflection point in our industry – and Michigan’s energy landscape is quickly evolving. To meet the needs of our customers while continuously improving their overall experience, we’re implementing a clean and lean operating system. That includes the closure of seven of our 12 older coal plants, continuing to invest in cleaner sources of energy and encouraging customers to participate in energy efficiency and demand response programs. While it may seem counterintuitive for an energy company to ask their customers to use less of what its selling – in the long run, what’s good for Michigan is good for us.

WHY I BELONG TO THE CHAMBER

For decades, we’ve been working alongside the Michigan Chamber of Commerce with one common goal – to create a stronger Michigan. I’m proud to say we’ve been largely successful. We’ve worked together to address unemployment insurance and combat identity theft – and in 2016, to pass legislation ensuring all Michigan residents have access to affordable, reliable and increasingly clean energy. Take away the jargon and in short, as members of the Michigan Chamber we’re helping Michigan families and businesses succeed – which is our ultimate goal as a Michigan-based business.

A KEY TAKEAWAY

We have more than 40 service centers across our beautiful state – from Boyne City to Union City and from Bad Axe to Hamilton. Almost everyone I meet knows someone who serves at Consumers Energy, but many people I meet do not know the Consumers Energy story of our commitment to People, Planet and Profit, powered by our performance. My coworkers and I are dedicated – when others are taking shelter, the Consumers Energy team is headed out to ensure there is light in the darkest moments and warmth in the coldest hour. We want people in Michigan to believe how committed we are to world class performance delivering hometown service.