The First Woman to Lead LADWP’s Power System Recognized for Mentoring Female Engineers
LOS ANGELES (September 18, 2019)–The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) has honored the first woman to lead Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (LADWP’s) Power System for her outstanding leadership, mentoring skills and commitment to advancing women engineers in the electric power industry. Reiko A. Kerr, Senior Assistant General Manager of LADWP Power System Engineering, Planning, and Technical Services, has received the SWE’s Spark Award, which honors individuals who have contributed to the advancement of women by mentoring those around them. Ms. Kerr will accept the award at SWE’s annual conference, WE19, in Anaheim, Calif. Nov. 9, 2019 during the formal awards banquet.
“We’re very proud of Reiko for her contributions to advancing women professionals at LADWP and in the utility industry at large,” said Martin L. Adams, LADWP General Manager and Chief Engineer. “Reiko has been a trailblazer in helping develop women leaders in the engineering and technical fields. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of the highly esteemed Spark Award.”
Ms. Kerr is the first woman Senior Assistant General Manager of the LADWP Power System, which is the nation’s largest municipal electric utility. She leads over 5,000 employees in providing reliable electric service to over 4 million residents in the City of Los Angeles. Reiko has over 25 years of experience in the financial and utility industries, with a strong leadership background in both the technical and financial aspects of water and power utilities. She joined LADWP from Riverside Public Utilities (RPU), where she had served most recently as the Assistant General Manager of Power Resource Operations and Strategic Analytics, overseeing their generation, planning, contracts, settlements and market operations in California’s wholesale energy markets. Prior to that, Ms. Kerr served as RPU’s Assistant General Manager/Chief Financial Officer.
When joining LADWP in 2016, she recognized immediately there were very few women leaders in the engineering and technical fields, and no focused organizational culture for developing and nurturing women supervisors and managers within the Power System. “She took leadership development as a fundamental responsibility by creating mentoring opportunities to support emerging women engineers and new programs to promote and recruit women engineers,” Adams said.
At LADWP, she co-leads the Power System with Andrew Kendall, Senior Assistant General Manager of Power Construction, Maintenance and Operations. “Reiko has been an amazing leader and coach for all of us in power – men and women alike – to build a more diverse and balanced workforce.”
The Spark Award honors a person who has contributed to the advancement of women by mentoring those around them. The individual will have made a difference in the lives of many by affecting women at a variety of levels ranging from high school through more senior levels in relation to their position.
The award also recognizes Ms. Kerr’s continuing dedication to SWE’s mission – striving to highlight the impact and importance of women in engineering across the globe, leading by example, and demonstrating that a career in engineering can be a fulfilling, rewarding pursuit for women of any background.
“The men and women recognized have lived and learned through significant contributions to the engineering community, and they continue to lead in their careers and personal lives,” said Cindy Hoover, president of SWE. “They are leaders paving the way to empower and inspire future women engineers across the globe.”
For more information about SWE, visit www.swe.org.