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Corp Magazine’s 2021 Salute to Diversity Awards and Virtual Conference names Louis E. James, president & CEO of SEEL, LLC (Solutions for Energy Efficient Logistics) as this year's winner of the Diversity Business Leader Award. The Salute to Diversity Awards honors individuals who champion diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives and achievements within their organization or the community.

“DEI and inclusion are at the heart of SEEL’s mission to represent and advance diversity in the fast-growing energy industry,” said James. “I am proud to receive this award and pledge to do everything I can to ensure equity and inclusion for everyone at SEEL and within the organizations I belong.”

Corp! Magazine’s Salute to Diversity is also an educational event that features speakers who share their best practices on how to make business more diverse, build equity, and creates more inclusion.

James is a prolific entrepreneur who started SEEL with a vision to ensure that everyone has a clear path to energy efficiency. The company provides services within the energy efficiency space and promotes environmental change by administering energy management programs on behalf of the clients they serve.

SEEL, LLC (Solutions for Energy Efficient Logistics) is a nationally certified minority business enterprise (MBE) service-disabled, veteran-owned (DVBE) energy efficiency program implementation contractor that offers a suite of energy solutions. SEEL offers turnkey services for programs with seasoned staff to support program goals. As an agile company, SEEL has worked in collaboration with utility clients to rapidly change program designs.

For more information visit www.seelllc.com.

Click the link to view the article in the AESP Intel magazine.

Join us at the DEI table! - Scott Alan Davis

SEEL, LLC (Solutions for Energy Efficient Logistics) was first launched in 2009 in our hometown of Detroit, Michigan, with a guiding vision that everyone deserves a path to energy efficiency. Like any startup trying to find its footing, there were numerous obstacles before us in 2009. How

ever, even though we started in one of the worst economic recessions of the past one hundred years, this paled compared to the challenges before us as a minority enterprise. As any minority business owner can tell you, the hill is higher, steeper to climb, and goes on longer. Nevertheless, for the past twelve-plus years, SEEL has excelled in its role as a new entrant to the energy efficiency (EE) marketplace. We have developed a portfolio of work of which we are tremendously proud that is ever-evolving, growing, and making an innovative and lasting impact within our industry.

The Evolution of Energy Efficiency Work

Energy efficiency programs have changed much in recent years. Technologies and services previously unheard of have become prevalent, and in many cases, deemed essential. But unfortunately, many communities still stand on the fringes of participation and adoption of these critical advances. As a result, these communities, particularly those of color, cannot access proven programs to lower their energy usage and expenses. This situation will only intensify with increasing whole building electrification, including on-site renewable generation and electric mobility. As U.S. society has become more aware of the myriad of hurdles for historically disenfranchised communities and ethnicities, we have seen movements such as Black Lives Matter, Me Too, and DEI impacting all aspects of life - from political and professional to social and economic. This has brought our industry to a crossroads. As a result, the utility industry must address the many lingering questions on the path to providing meaningful services to all customers, particularly those of color, traditionally considered "hard to reach."

What is DEI?

So, what is Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI), anyway? This framework describes programs and policies that encourage the representation and participation of diverse groups based on gender and gender identities, races and ethnicities, and political stance. DEI is the antidote to dysfunctional, entrenched concentrations of power and privilege that come at the expense of the disenfranchised. It's rooted in the concept that those in power and who have privilege want to stay in control to maintain or expand their inherited privilege. Imagine for a minute that you are seated for a fantastic meal. Your host has placed your dinner on a round table graced with an ornate tablecloth. Diversity is about the graceful weaving that goes into the different fabrics that make the tablecloth come together. Equity is about ensuring that all materials have equal standing, ensuring the cloth is of equal strength. Finally, inclusion is where the table is set, and everyone from their diverse backgrounds has a seat at the table and a voice to be heard. And to be very clear, we have a lot to discuss!

DEI in the Energy Sector

DEI in the energy efficiency space is unique. According to a study done in 2019, the national workforce average shows 53% of the workforce was male, but in the energy efficiency sector, 75% was male. When we look atAfrican Americans, for example, they represent 12% of the national workforce. However, as it relates to the energy efficiency sector, they represent only 8%. Even when we look at people 55 years older, 23% are represented in the national workforce, but only 13% are in the energy efficiency workspace. What are the most effective ways to tackle this problem and move the needle on diversity, equity, and inclusion in EE? What impacts need to be made? We must address these questions as we gather around our DEI table.

How SEEL Will Work to Increase EE DEI

With SEEL's unique history as a certified minority-owned and disabled veteran-owned business, we are well poised to lead the conversation on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the EE sector. SEEL has made a significant move and created a position that focuses on energy access and equity for clients, potential customers, and employees. I am pleased to be the first Director of Energy Access & Equity at SEEL. I lead SEEL's agenda to make lasting change within the energy efficiency industry by looking at new hiring practices, targeting diverse communities, and what those practices should entail for success and equity. SEEL President & CEO Louis E. James has said in no uncertain terms, "We must advocate for energy equity in our service to the community." Therefore, this is what we will accomplish. We are excited to welcome our many peers to the DEI table for a productive discussion on an equitable and inclusive energy efficiency sector. The meal promises to be healthy, abundant, and tasty. We will always have an extra chair waiting for you.

SEEL, LLC is joining regional and national organizations, businesses, utilities, universities, and individuals in promoting energy efficiency – a critical strategy to meet our energy needs, cut utility bills, and reduce pollution.

Wednesday October 6, 2021 is national Energy Efficiency Day 2021 (#EEDay2021) and this year SEEL, LLC (Solutions for Energy Efficient Logistics) celebrates Energy Efficiency Day by recognizing its outstanding energy professionals.

Stephanie Norwood, Call Center Coordinator. Stephanie embraces process improvement ideas and points out areas needing attention within our digital platform to provide our customer service representatives (CSRs) with the necessary tools for supporting customers’ scheduling needs. She is also involved in training new CSRs, to ensure new team members are successful in their role.

Eva Woo, Staff Accountant. Eva embodies SEEL’s mission in delivering stellar customer service. She consistently exceeds customer expectations, by providing timely and accurate reports, all while maintaining a positive attitude in a fast-paced environment.

Brad Painter, Sr. Field Coordinator for ARI program. Brad is a highly motivated and professional supervisor who is constantly working to ensure that he (and his reports) project a positive image of SEEL and the utility client. He recently oversaw operations during a multi-week period of adverse weather, and his proactive and comprehensive approach to safety was very evident; as ARI beat its forecast during those weeks, despite the poor weather, due in a large part to his efforts.

Darren Fields, Field Coordinator for HEA/IQ Programs, Darren has excelled in his new role as Field Coordinator for the CE HEA/IQ residential team. He has helped to train our new field team members to provide customers with top quality energy assessments and accurate audit reports. Darren consistently makes sure customers receive the best service, and that no stone is left unturned when it comes to customer satisfaction.

"We are proud of all of our employees and couldn't think of a better way to recognize Energy Efficiency Day," said Louis E. James, "Workforce development is very important to us. Training and providing job opportunities for the green jobs of the future is one of our primary objectives as a company. Because of employees like the ones we celebrate this year, SEEL has been enormously successful throughout the years. Congratulations to each and every one of them as we recognize Energy Efficiency Day 2021!"

Workforce development is a priority for SEEL. Their utility, contractor, and trade ally partners participate in a building science training and certification curriculum to provide the necessary knowledge to further their education and become certified BPI – Building

Analysts. Through this program, training participants develop skills they can use to advance the energy industry.

EEDay is a collaborative effort of dozens of energy efficiency advocacy groups around the United States, including the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Advanced Energy Economy, Alliance to Save Energy, Natural Resources Defense Council, the Regional Energy Efficiency Organizations

As a market leader in the industry, SEEL is a multi award-winning company that has been recognized for its accomplishments nationally and within the territories it serves. The company was named the 2020 and 2019 Supplier of the Year by the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) and this year Supplier of the Year from the regional Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC). SEEL's mission is to propel change in the communities it serves and believe that every customer deserves a path to energy efficiency. The company accomplishes this by providing energy and sustainability management services to its customers, hiring and training local talent, and partnering with local community organizations. SEEL's core services include: energy audits, recycling and incentive programs, in-house weatherization, contact center management and workforce development. SEEL is also a national BPI Test Center. For more information about SEEL, visit www.seelllc.com, or call 313-841-5000.

For more information about SEEL visit www.seelllc.com.