Meet the Speaker: One of our Rock Star Presenters at the Upcoming Social Media for Utilities Conference in Chicago
Q: Name, title, company?
A: Cathy Schultze, Senior Communications Specialist, We Energies
Q: Family, hometown, where you live?
A: I live in the Milwaukee area with my husband, two daughters, ages 6 and 7, and our cat, Fenway. I’m originally from Binghamton, New York.
Q: What is your Utility experience?
A: When I started at We Energies nearly seven years ago, the company’s social media efforts were in their infancy. It’s been exciting to help build these efforts from the ground up and watch our social media presence grow exponentially.
Q: What do you like to do when you’re not working? Hobbies?
A: I am an avid runner and triathlete. I also like to crochet.
Q: Notable achievements?
A: Personally, being mom to two amazing little girls. Professionally, bringing heightened awareness to We Energies’ peregrine falcon recovery program. with the support of bosses who give me creative freedom, I’ve been able to launch live webcams from our power plant nest boxes, partner with local schools to arrange (bird) banding field trips, and increase media coverage about our program 1200%.
Q: Where do you see Social Media in utilities in two years?
A: Many customers don’t want to communicate over the phone. They want to connect with their utility company on Twitter or Facebook. Utilities that want satisfied customers will need to make these channels a priority for communication.
Q: What is your biggest challenge?
A: Work-life balance, something other working moms can relate to!
Q: What did you do prior to working in your utility?
A: I spent 15 years as a news anchor and reporter, working at television stations in Upstate NY and Milwaukee. I covered major stories like the 2007 bridge collapse in Minneapolis and the 2008 campus shooting at Northern Illinois University. On the lighter side, one assignment took me to the skies in an F/A-18 Hornet with the Blue Angels.
Q: Who are a couple of your role models (and why)?
A: My parents are my biggest role models. If I can be even half as generous, loving and successful as them, then they taught me well.
Q: What is one of your big goals?
A: To raise two happy, successful daughters who achieve their biggest dreams.
Q: What is the biggest misconception you run into in your role?
A: Many customers only think about their utility company when a) they pay their bill, or b) their lights go out. We want to change that mentality and encourage more customers to follow us on social media and learn about all of the wonderful things we’re doing at We Energies.