For the first LCLD Learning Experience of 2018 on June 20, the Fellows visited Los Angeles and the campus of Southern California Edison (SCE), where they were given a warm welcome by LCLD Member and General Counsel Russell Swartz.
The high-energy tone of the event was established by Pedro Pizarro, President and CEO of Edison International, the parent company of SCE. Pizarro, of Puerto Rican descent, ticked off challenges facing the energy sector in the current economic climate. He also offered some advice that struck a chord with many Fellows, urging them to think of themselves not just as attorneys, but as business people with legal training.
The day’s agenda reinforced that idea, by showing the Fellows what it means to run an energy company.
A pair of morning panels focused on SCE’s business operations and featured many of the company’s top leaders.
Jacqueline Trapp, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, spoke about SCE’s internal inclusion efforts. She fielded numerous questions from the Fellows about overcoming diversity fatigue, diversity recruiting, and sponsorship and mentorship programs. She also spoke passionately about SCE’s efforts to eradicate sexual harassment through training and education.
Trapp was followed by a panel devoted to energy regulations, procurement, how SCE earns income, and the importance of customer service. The Fellows also heard from leaders of the law department about how they support the company, including specific initiatives such as transportation electrification.
Lunch was another chance for the Fellows to hear from a senior leader at Edison International, as Adam Umanoff, Edison International’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel, gave the Fellows an insider’s look at the challenges of running the company, including what keeps him up at night and answered questions.
In afternoon sessions, the Fellows heard about SCE’s Clean Energy Initiatives and its branding strategy. During the latter presentation, Fellows learned about SCE’s rebranding efforts after nearly a 20-year hiatus from any substantial advertising, including recent television and print ads featuring SCE employees. The Fellows also received a lesson in cybersecurity and learned how electricity is generated and delivered.
The last two sessions of the day focused less on SCE’s business and more on career strategies. The Fellows heard from several SCE attorneys who transitioned to the business side and, in some cases, back again to the law department. They also heard from a group of senior leaders about how to advance their career in a corporate environment. The day ended with a cocktail reception in the campus courtyard with many of the speakers from the day and other SCE attorneys.
The day before the Learning Experience, LCLD Member law firm Munger Tolles & Olson treated the Fellows to a cocktail reception at the Standard Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, followed by a dinner in a private outdoor patio at Chaya. They also provided Fellows with a private tour of the Japanese American National Museum, led by a museum volunteer who was held as a child with his family in an internment camp during World War II. His stories and recollections are something those in attendance will not soon forget.
2018 Fellow Mindy Laponis from Adobe Systems Incorporated (below) found the SCE Learning Experience to be “incredibly worthwhile.”
“I was blown away by all that SCE is doing to improve diversity, help their community, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” she said. “Their diversity programs are very creative, and I came home with a lot of actionable ideas to share with my department’s leadership team. I was equally impressed to learn how SCE is at the forefront of a huge wave of change in how we, as a society, approach energy generation, transmission, and consumption.
"Last but not least, the Learning Experience, including the social events hosted by Munger Tolles, provided yet another wonderful opportunity to meet and create bonds with other Fellows.”
LCLD would like to thank SCE Fellows Kenneth Araki (2015), Tristan Reyes Close (2016), Kathleen Brennan de Jesus (2017), and Shae Harvey (2018); and Karen Lorang and Chantel Moore from Munger Tolles and Olson for all they did to make the first LCLD Learning Experience of 2018 a truly memorable event.
Leadership. Action. Results.