Empowering Communities

Local, Diverse, and Growing: Focused Partnerships Drive Opportunity for Illinois Businesses

April 26, 2017

Rising Star Award Honoree: PMI Energy Solutions

George Williams, chief executive officer, PMI Energy Solutions.

George Williams, chief executive officer, PMI Energy Solutions.

When George Williams started his company, PMI Energy Solutions, in 2012, ComEd was one of his first clients.

“ComEd was very interested in seeing my company grow, so they gave me a pole replacement project,” says George, PMI’s chief executive officer.

Now, five years later, the Batavia-based electrical construction, maintenance and technical services company still works with ComEd and was honored with ComEd’s Rising Star Award on April 27 during ComEd’s 2nd Annual Supplier Diversity Awards.

The annual awards event is an opportunity for ComEd to honor and celebrate successful minority, veteran and women-owned suppliers that are helping to drive community and economic development across Northern Illinois. A total of 76 suppliers competed in this year’s awards, up from 67 last year.

The awards ceremony is also a chance to highlight best practices in working with and growing small, diverse businesses. Working closely with PMI is an example of ComEd’s active commitment to doing just that.

“ComEd’s commitment to supplier diversity starts at the top, and our senior management works very closely with suppliers to develop strategic plans and also help them develop back-office systems that support their continued growth,” says Fidel Marquez, senior vice president of governmental and external affairs at ComEd.

This was exactly PMI’s experience. “After gaining more confidence in the ability of my company to perform, ComEd gave me larger projects,” George says in this video about PMI.

With a deliberate goal of helping diverse companies be successful, in 2016, ComEd added 132 diverse suppliers to its program – a 26 percent increase – for a total of 516 certified-diverse suppliers. Since 2011, ComEd has injected more than $5.52 billion into its supply chain in Illinois, largely driven by the smart grid program created by the Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act (EIMA), according to a report filed in April with the Illinois Commerce Commission.

EIMA established a broad range of performance metrics for utilities, including increased spending with diverse suppliers, by at least 15 percent over 10 years. Since 2012, ComEd has exceeded that goal with a total supply chain spend in Illinois under EIMA of $4 billion, including $1.6 billion total diverse supply chain spend.

ComEd has achieved a 362 percent increase in diverse spend since deploying the smart grid program, creating opportunities for minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses. In 2016, ComEd reached an all-time high of $777 million, up 19 percent over 2015.

“Our results on supplier diversity engagement and participation do not happen by accident – we are deliberate in our approach to grow suppliers and help them be successful,” Marquez says.