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9.21.17 – SPOKES Notes

SPOKES Notes written by Mark Johnson

It was a great (and warm) day for Rotary with record temperatures for September in the low 90s. President Renwick Brutus started the meeting by discussing the importance of referring others to Rotary. The membership committee provided an update that we are at 207 members for the Grand Rapids club.

The keynote speaker was Karen McCarthy from Consumers Energy. She said that Consumers Energy was more than 130 years old this year. They originally started in 1908. Ten years ago the company switched names from Consumers Power to Consumers Energy to focus on the future of the company as an innovative energy provider and sustainer. Although the company will still cash your check if you misspell it.

With regard to history, Karen McCarthy shared that in 1880 William Powers hooked up the first hydro-electric plant in Grand Rapids which has become popular throughout the state and world. Consumers Energy currently has 7,300 employees and 3,000 contractors. With 6.7 million customers, Consumers Power has 66,000 miles of electrical wires and 27,900 miles of gas lines.

The future of Consumers Energy is to exceed the goals of the triple-bottom line: People, Planet, and Profits. The goal is to continue to be a company focused on innovation and quality. In fact, Consumers Energy uses 15 natural gas storage facilities which helps buy gas in the summer and sell it in the winter. This has helped save more than $1 billion for customers and $10 million for school districts.

Overall, it was an enjoyable presentation by Karen McCarthy and Renwick provided her with a certificate that a clean water filter had been donated in her honor to a needy family in Nicaragua.


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