Get to Know: Diana C. Sharpe

Name: Diana C. Sharpe

Company/Titles: ComEd, Vice President, Economic & Workforce Development

Location: Chicago, IL

Tell Us About Your Business/Job/Position:

ComEd delivers electricity to nearly four million homes and businesses across northern Illinois. My team grows the regional economy and strengthens our local communities through external partnerships, proactive engagement, and internal collaboration to drive job creation and investment in both businesses and people throughout northern Illinois. Specifically, Economic Development leverages relationships, data analytics, and ComEd’s energy related strengths to support competitive customers’ decisions to invest and grow in northern Illinois. Workforce development is the compilation of comprehensive, focused actions to build economic and human capital in order to create business and community sustainability, remove barriers to decrease unemployment and underemployment, and ensure a highly skilled workforce for the rapidly transforming industry and region in which we serve. Learn more: Economic Development | ComEd – An Exelon Company

Now, do it in 6 words only please:  We build economic and human capital.

If you had an extra 5 hours a week to spend on your work, where would you invest the time?

I would spend time building creative programs to introduce youth to training and job opportunities.

What goals do you have for your business?

  • Eliminate air pollution from the power sector by 2030 in the Northern Illinois region
  • Enable electrification of school buses, public fleets and transportation, commercial end uses and 2 million passenger vehicles to drive a 25% reduction in air pollution in heavily impacted communities by 2030
  • Strengthen the grid to adapt and mitigate climate change impacts and reliably and safely integrate distributed clean energy for 100K-400K customers by 2030
  • Empower customers and underserved communities by delivering $1b of cumulative energy assistance by 2030
  • Increase the number of underserved and underrepresented people in the energy/construction industry
  • Attract strong businesses to Illinois to drive economic and community growth and sustainability

What business task do you dread the most? 

Filling out my timesheet! I’m busy working – I don’t have time to count the hours I’m working. Or maybe, I just don’t want to see how many hours I work in black and white :).

Give Us Your Wisdom

What will you always spend money on? 

  • Good Food – you can’t produce effectively and efficiently if you’re hangry.
  • Comfortable/quality shoes – you can’t go anywhere if your feet hurt.

What is a piece of advice that you received that has stuck with you throughout all phases of your career?

Don’t be afraid to say yes to an opportunity that you don’t think you’re qualified enough for. People often see your capabilities and strengths even when you don’t. Also, never mistreat the admins. They are the gatekeepers to the leaders you need to know.

If you could save readers from one misstep, what advice would you share? 

Be careful what you say and who you say it to. Everyone talking to you is not rooting for you. And you never know when you are entertaining angels (or your future boss) in disguise. You don’t want to find yourself in the position of having to clean up words said in anger, envy or from being mean.

Do you have an absolute favorite business tool or resource?

I live by my Outlook calendar. Nothing in my life gets done if it’s not on the calendar.

Connecting Personally

What’s your favorite quote/life motto?

“How do you eat an elephant – one bite at a time.” Which means you tackle challenging situations one step at a time. -Dr. Dion McCarthy, Pastor of Gethsemane COGIC and my dad

“Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” -Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the late Supreme Court Justice

Is there a pipe dream/bucket list item you are willing to share?  

I want to open a nightclub, similar to Natalie’s from NY Undercover – smooth, sophisticated, for mature adults, with great food and live music.

Do you read or listen to anything on the regular?

I read my bible regularly. My guilty reading pleasure is anything by James Patterson. And I love listening to my “Get Up” and “Favorite” playlists curated each week by Apple Music. It always fits the mood I’m in.

What else should we know about you?

I’ve created many of the roles I’ve held. I never think about what position I want. I think about what contribution or impact I want to make in whatever organization or situation I’m in. By doing that, I’m always growing, learning and able to shape the vision of my work. I also get energy and motivation from my family.

How can readers connect with you and follow your journey?

You can find me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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