Heather Rivard brings to public service a passion for safety and customer service.
Northampton, MA –News Direct– Edison International
Heather Rivard is a native of Michigan, born in Flint, and a resident of the state for most of her life. Growing up, she enjoyed being a Girl Scout, athletics and cross-country skiing, spending time at the lake in the summer and her love for learning made her an excellent student.
âI have always excelled in math and science and dreamed of working for NASA when I was young,â Rivard said.
When it was time to think about college, his mother suggested that he consider engineering as a specialty. âMy advisor told me that aerospace engineering could be a great opportunity because it is an industry with few women. “
Ready for a challenge, Rivard took their advice and attended the University of Michigan where she majored in aerospace engineering. She landed a job at NASA and worked in the aerospace industry for a few years, both in Houston at the Johnson Space Center and in the Pentagon for a defense contractor.
âIn aerospace, you can work on one project for your entire career and never see it come to fruition,â Rivard said. “I didn’t like the idea of ââthat.”
So she returned to Michigan to pursue an MBA and took a job at DTE Energy where she entered a rotating engineering program. Very early on, she had the opportunity to work directly with the field teams. It was the dedication and passion of the people – from engineers to linemen – who keep the lights on and the power running day after day that made her fall in love with the industry.
Rivard has held various positions of increasing responsibility throughout his 28-year career at DTE and rose through the ranks to Senior Vice President of Electrical Distribution. The safety and care of people, employees and customers has become his true passion.
âI lost my dad when I was 14, and I still remember how painful it was,â she said. âWhen I see my team and our clients in the community, I see their families – sons, daughters, grandparents, parents – and I don’t want any of them to feel the pain of losing a member of his family. The safety of workers and the public is always a priority for me.
On September 27, Rivard left Michigan and joined Southern California Edison as senior vice president of transmission and distribution, overseeing the company’s largest operating unit, where approximately 6,700 team members plan, design, design and maintain the power supply for the company’s 50,000 people. square mile service area.
In his role, Rivard’s experience and thoughtful leadership will be essential to help strengthen SCE’s operations, with a focus on security, so the company can consistently deliver greater value to its customers. This includes reducing the threat of catastrophic forest fires by overseeing the implementation of SCE’s forest fire mitigation plan and accelerated network strengthening.
âWe are delighted to have Heather join us at SCE as we work to strengthen and modernize our network and achieve a clean energy future,â said Steve Powell, executive vice president of operations, SCE. “His impressive accomplishments and leadership in creating a culture of engagement, continuous improvement and accountability will be a great addition to the team as we accelerate operational excellence.”
Rivard looks forward to helping reduce the effects of climate change and making a difference in his new role.
âI have gained invaluable experience during my years in the industry,â said Rivard. âI am thrilled to join the SCE team and look forward to working together to make a difference for our customers and the communities we serve. “
PHOTO CREDIT: COURTESY OF HEATHER RIVARD
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