WEN Chicago Board of Director Spotlight
Alison Millerick, Freelance Consultant
Director of Development
What brought you into the energy field?
My environmental background. Peoples Energy was launching a program to investigate past practices and build its environmental management plan for its natural gas distribution utility business, so they were enhancing their Environmental Affairs team. It also helped that I was a legacy. My dad retired from Peoples Gas after 36 years of service, several years before I applied. The natural gas utility business supported my family and put me through college.
What has been your proudest moment or greatest achievement in your career in energy, to date?
Being the first woman to manage the gas control function for four natural gas utilities in three Midwestern states, including in the third largest city in the country, Chicago.
How did you find out about WEN, and why did you join? What are you hoping to gain from your role as an ambassador? What prompted you to become an ambassador?
I first found out about WEN when they launched the Chicago chapter seven years ago. I joined as an employee of one of the sponsoring organizations, because I believed it was a great opportunity to meet other women in the energy industry outside of my organization. My first WEN activity was as a member participating in the Mentoring Pilot Program. My experience was so gratifying that I knew I had to be part of bringing this program to other WEN Chicago members, so I joined the Board as a chair on the mentoring team. After three years of building the mentoring program, growing it to 60+ members and pivoting to a virtual environment, I have moved on to a Director role, promoting sponsorship and development of WEN Chicago. I would like for all companies directly and indirectly involved in the local energy industry to join the WEN Chicago family to help us foster women’s personal and professional development to transform the energy industry.
What advice has resonated with you for your career/do you have any advice for others?
My advice for young women pursuing opportunities in the energy field would be to think about what career trajectory you’d like to be on and then strategically look for and seek out the opportunities, mentors, and/or sponsors that will provide you the knowledge and skill sets needed to get where you’d like to go. But also, don’t be afraid to change your mind. Review your career plan periodically to evaluate whether it still resonates with you and if it doesn’t, don’t be afraid to change course.