Meet Lisa Cagnolatti of Southern California Edison. She is presenting on Navigating Your Career in a Male-Dominated Industry at ADVANCE: The Power Conference for Women in Utilities this October in Las Vegas.
Q: Name, title, company?
A: Lisa Cagnolatti, Vice President Customer Service Operations, Southern California Edison (SCE).
Q: Family, hometown, where you live?
A: I was born in Los Angeles, California and grew up in Inglewood, CA. We currently reside in Walnut, California and plan to retire in the Phoenix, Arizona area. I have been married to the same wonderful man for 32 years. I have two amazing sons who are 27 and 24 years old now. The oldest graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Mathematics. He is now working in the movie industry as the “Magic Choreographer” for the Marvel Avengers Characters. The youngest graduated from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco in Music Production and Sound Design, and is currently producing his own music and providing freelance sound design services.
Q: What is your utility management experience?
A: I have been in the utility business for over 32 years covering the following disciplines: Marketing, Energy Efficiency, Engineering, Environmental Affairs, Regulatory Affairs, Transmission/Distribution Construction, Water and Gas Distribution, Diesel Generation, Call Center, Revenue Services (including credit and collections and print/mail operations).
Q: What do you like to do when you’re not working? Hobbies?
A: My husband and I love to travel. We also have a collection of classic cars and we enjoy visiting car shows and consignment shops. Physical fitness is an important value for us so we love to go to the gym together and take long walks. I like cycling classes and yoga!
Q: Notable achievements?
A: One of my proudest achievements is that I took karate lessons with my sons when they were young and we all achieved our black belts. Professionally, I am most proud of creating a values-based, high-performing organization in each and every department I have been responsible for throughout my career.
Q: Where do you see the issue of “Women in Utilities” in two years?
A: I believe that women are going to make tremendous strides taking more and more positions of responsibility in utilities. Programs like this encourage women to lead and show them role models and road maps to achieve more in their careers.
Q: What is your biggest challenge?
A: Time! There is never enough time to do all of the things I want to do!
Q: What did you do prior to working in your current role?
A: My most recent position was Vice President of the Business Customer Division responsible for service to all of the non-residential customers at Southern California Edison. During my tenure there, I helped establish new business strategies to provide outreach and support to our customers and create a highly engaging work environment for our employees. We became the role model for the company in creating an injury-free workplace!
Q: Who are a couple of your role models (and why)?
A: Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Sheryl Sandberg, Faye Washington (CEO, YWCA Greater Los Angeles). Each of these women were trailblazers and showed tremendous courage and grace during difficult situations.
Q: What is one of your biggest goals (in life or business)?
A: One personal goal I have is to visit all seven continents. We have visited four and have three more to go!
Q: What’s the biggest misconception you run into in your role (or what people seem to think about Women in leadership positions at utilities)?
A: One pervasive misconception is that women don’t support other women in business. I have experienced amazing female mentors and colleagues who help each other navigate the sometimes perplexing corporate cultures within which we all work and thrive!
Thank you, Lisa! We look forward to seeing you at the conference!