Above and Beyond
DTE Energy Employee Honored for Support of Holiday Gift-Giving Program
Anita Springer is being honored with an Alex Dow Award for her work with Operation Good Cheer. The prestigious Alex Dow Awards, named for the former Detroit Edison president, recognizes employees for outstanding achievement.
Operation Good cheer is an annual, all volunteer holiday gift-giving program sponsored by Child and Family services of Michigan.
For the past five years, Springer has coordinated the program at our Detroit offices on behalf of DTE Energy. Prior to Anita's involvement, DTE Energy had no involvement in Operation Good Cheer.more
Through Springer's outstanding efforts, a significant impact has been made with children and disabled adults throughout our communities and state.
Springer has worked tirelessly to educate, organize and recruit volunteers for the program, which provides holiday gifts for those less fortunate. When Springer began the program, 60 children received gifts on behalf of the company. Last year, more than 450 children were recipients of everything from clothing, boots and coats, to bicycles and ipods.
Springer knew there was a great need in our community, and through her involvement in Operation Good Cheer, and the involvement of many employee volunteers, she has increased the number of program recipients by more than 600 percent.
Gatekeeper Award Goes to Debra Wilkerson
Debra Wilkerson, associate account manager, Regulated Marketing is a Gatekeeper. Giving back is what she does. Having grown up poor, "it was ingrained in us to save and help. Helping others helps you to become more of a person," said Wilkerson.
As a Gatekeeper, she serves as an extra set of eyes and ears in the community. A previous Gatekeeper of the Year recipient in 2010, she’s no stranger to helping others, and stays alert to the warning signs that may indicate a senior needs help. more
Ms. Wilkerson’s most recent referral was for someone that she met while attending an American Cancer Society meeting. He was very ill, unable to work and with no family, very much alone. Her short-term help was to buy him a bag of groceries. Understanding that he needed much more help than she could personally provide, she turned once again, to DTE Energy’s Gatekeeper Program.
Her confidential referral resulted in assessment and intervention by a resource advocate from the Area Agency on Aging’s Senior Alliance. The advocate was able to transfer his prescriptions to a pharmacy that offered a discount to seniors and provide other referrals to needed services.
"I would love to spend some time with the person that I helped. I would love to give him a hug and tell him that everything will be okay."
DTE Energy’s Mt. Pleasant Service Center keeps nursing home residents warm on a frigid winter afternoon
A natural gas leak detected at a Clare nursing home this winter required a heating system shutdown that could have forced elderly residents to vacate their building.
Instead, MichCon Mt. Pleasant Service Center employees Ryan Blain, Dick Brooks, Doug Dysinger and Rick Krell, went above and beyond their duties to ensure the residents remained warm in their rooms while they worked on repairing the leak. more
An investigation of the building determined the gas leak was caused by the customer’s fuel line, not a MichCon service line. Employees gained permission to make the repair to ensure the residents weren’t displaced. In order to repair the line, natural gas was cut to roughly 75 percent of the building. Our employees had to work fast since it was late in the afternoon and evening temperatures were predicted to drop below zero.
“We have strict guidelines for air temperatures in resident rooms,” the nursing home administrator explained. “Due to the diligent efforts of your crew, we did not have to displace any residents from their rooms due to the dropping temperatures. We were fully back online at 12:30 a.m. --- after six hours without heat.”
Mike Demos, MichCon supervisor of Gas operations, praises all employees at the Mt. Pleasant Service Center for their commitment to customer service, exemplified by this incident.
“These guys are amazing,” said Demos. “This wasn’t a simple job by any means. There were a lot of twists and turns, and without their knowledge, determination and professionalism, something like 90 residents and 50 staff people would have needed to move to another location while the repairs were made.
“Some residents living at the nursing home were mobile, but the vast majority weren’t. We would have had to get Emergency Management of Clare County involved to help. It would have been a huge undertaking, but because of this crew, and everyone else at the station, that was avoided. They’re the best. I just don’t know any other way to put it.“