Pacific Gas and Electric Company Honors Employees for Outstanding Community Service
Release Date: November 29, 2010
Contact: PG&E Media Relations Department (415) 973-5930
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – During the holiday season when Californians are dedicating time and resources to those less fortunate in their communities, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today recognized five extraordinary employees who exemplify the spirit of giving and volunteerism with Frederick W. Mielke Jr. Awards for Outstanding Community Service.
The Frederick W. Mielke Jr. Awards for Outstanding Community Service were first established in 1986, honoring the company's CEO from 1979 to 1986. Each Mielke award recipient receives a trophy and $5,000, which goes to the nonprofit organization of the winner's choosing.
"Each of this year's Mielke Awards winners epitomizes PG&E's long history and strong commitment of giving back to the communities we serve," said Ezra Garrett, director of community relations at PG&E. "Their devotion to volunteerism and compassion for those less fortunate has made an indelible impression on the broad variety of communities and organizations they have supported over the years."
A PG&E employee for 31 years, Julie Cosgrove-Garcia is an operating clerk-typist in Sacramento's Electric Operations Department. For the past nine years, she has advocated for Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD), the largest grassroots organization in the world focusing on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Duchenne is the most common, lethal, genetic disorder of children and affects approximately one in 3,500 boys, including Cosgrove-Garcia's son Nick. Through PPMD, Cosgrove-Garcia has attended conferences and congressional missions to Washington, D.C., and has tirelessly networked with doctors, researchers and other parents to help fund research, raise awareness, promote advocacy and broaden treatment options for those afflicted with Duchenne.
Cynthia Haynes is a 20-year employee whose home base is Auburn; however, she travels much of the time as project manager. Her volunteer efforts began in her home town of Lodi many years ago and continue in Lockeford, where she is president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce. In addition to tackling issues such as downtown revitalization and graffiti abatement, she also plans and coordinates the city's Tree of Lights event, raising funds for Hospice of San Joaquin, an organization for which she has volunteered for 18 years. Haynes' knack for creating memorable community events also led her to rejuvenate a historic Veterans Day parade in Auburn by "welcoming home" veterans, adding events and increasing participation.
Brian King has been with PG&E for 17 years in the Finance department in San Francisco. Six years ago, he and his wife, Dawna, founded an organization called Kingdom Children, with the goal of helping communities locate missing children and provide a mechanism for runaways to reach out and safely come home. King is involved in all aspects of running the nonprofit, including speaking to city officials, mayors, and chiefs of police to develop partnerships. He has raised funds through events – such as an annual golf tournament and an inaugural Harvest Run in Fairfield – that finance private investigations for families that cannot afford them, and help to establish a children's investigation unit to expose child-trafficking rings.
For more than 28 years, Kathy Lavezzo has worked for PG&E on the Peninsula, and she is currently a senior account executive in Energy Solutions and Service. She serves on the board of the Burlingame Chamber of Commerce; HIP (Human Investment Project) Housing, which helps thousands each year find suitable living arrangements; and the Peninsula Family YMCA, which provides many essential youth programs. Lavezzo is also a member of the job support network team at St. Gregory's Parish and is on the board of Serra High in San Mateo, where she raised funds for a new Arts and Sciences building.
John McDougal, a supervisor in Land and Environmental Management in the Fresno and Bakersfield areas, has been with PG&E for 14 years. Eight years ago, McDougal and his wife, Jennifer, lost one of their twin daughters, Mallory, at just 7 weeks of age due to a rare heart defect. The McDougals were so grateful for the care displayed by the doctors and staff at Children's Hospital Central California that they put on a fund-raiser to help other families in the valley to receive the same quality care. John and Jennifer coordinate all aspects of the event called Evening under the Stars, and recruit friends and family to get involved. In eight years, they have raised more than $260,000 for the heart center at the hospital. This is McDougal's second Mielke Award in five years.
Five semi-finalists – Robert de Haas of Santa Rosa; Joe Fong and Shawn Mallan of San Ramon, C. Michael Tejada of Fresno and Robin Wythe of San Francisco – were each presented $1,000 for their favorite charities.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to 15 million people in northern and central California. For more information, visit http://www.pge.com/about/newsroom/.