- Tech Insights
Kelly Tomblin’s 30-year history in the energy sector can be defined as driving innovation and transforming companies through initiatives that unleash the human spirit. The focus of the CEO of El Paso Electric is on culture and leadership and taking risks on nontraditional candidates. She says “it isn’t just what we do, but who we are, that drive creativity and success.” She works to create wholesome environments that facilitate authenticity and freedom and talks daily about finding meaning and purpose in the everyday work. She makes sure that El Paso Electric has a compelling Vision that inspires their teams and that they make sure their processes and systems are aligned with that Vison.
"Kelly has had many role models that were appropriate at different times in her career. The founder of INTREN, Loretta Rosenmayer, was a huge role model for Kelly – she always put service before self."
Kelly as a steadfast leader at El Paso Electric has been inspiring and empowering women entrepreneurs across industries into becoming great leaders with technical know-how. Kelly has written a Guidebook – 100 Days of Doing Power Differently – that helps leaders activate their true power. She has also mentored countless women and helped them develop their own personal roadmaps. Kelly also models risk taking and courageous speaking and has moved to different companies and countries spreading her positivity and idealistic ideology. She bolsters technical know-how by promoting continuous learning and demonstrating how nontechnical women can grasp technical concepts and lead technical companies.
According to Kelly, the first thing that is required to catalyze sustainable change is to listen and understand where the company is now and what has led it to the current state. “While we can always make analogies, every company and situation is unique. We are focused on ESG now and a Unified Framework we believe will promote the next chapter of sustainable change,” she says. “It is always important to find your change agents who are ready to take past experiences – yours and theirs – and learn from it without feeling defensive.” The most important step in leading sustainable change is to build an excited and inspired leadership team, who will in turn help create and synergize that same inspiration throughout the company.
Kelly has had many role models that were appropriate at different times in her career. The founder of INTREN, Loretta Rosenmayer, was a huge role model for Kelly – she always put service before self. Bill Gates – knew when to move on to something else and the work of Simon Sinek always inspires her. Brene Brown and Elizabeth Lesser from Omega are also people she has learned from. These inspirations have shaped Kelly into the pioneering leader she is today leading El Paso Electric towards great heights.
For the days to come El Paso Electric is poised to change the Region’s Energy Landscape through a commitment to cleaner energy, implementation of storage technologies, the use and promotion of electric vehicles, and the movement to a smarter grid. “We are currently building a new efficient power plant to accommodate more renewables. On the customer side, we are working on enhancing the customer experience with more independence and service options,” explains Kelly. “Underneath all that energy transformation is greater information to our customers and to our partners that let them have the energy that fits their needs.” The world is demanding more authentic leaders and the workforce of the future will insist on work that is meaningful. For Kelly, inspiration will be declared to be the foundation for innovation and every leader will have to get comfortable taking more risk on each other. It is this nature of hers that has won her numerous awards and accolades including being named the S&P Platts Global CEO of the Year. “Gone are the days when “bosses” only rate their “subordinates.” Leaders will be “rated” by those they are honored to lead,” says Kelly. IE
CEO of El Paso Electric Company
Today, El Paso Electric is a regional electric utility providing generation, transmission and distribution service to approximately 384,000 retail and wholesale customers in a 10,000 square mile area of the Rio Grande valley in west Texas and southern New Mexico. Its service territory extends from Hatch, New Mexico to Van Horn, Texas and includes two connections to Juarez, Mexico and the Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE), Mexico’s national utility.