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Veterans Story

Still Serving

Veterans using skills, experience to create new energy future for Michigan

Consumers Energy is powering the arts.

Near the end of his career in the Marines, Matt Boulis worked as a recruiter in Grand Rapids. As a representative of the military, he took relationships with the public seriously.

Boulis learned to talk to people about difficult subjects and to answer questions from recruits, parents and coach¬es. Today, he’s using similar skills as a supervisor in electric meter operations covering Lansing, Owosso and Flint.

Interacting with the public definitely translates with this job for sure —answering their questions, helping them out with their electric needs,” he says. “When they see you, that first impression is important.”

Veterans valued at Consumers Energy

In 2015, our Veterans Advisory Panel had just a handful of members. Now that group numbers roughly 320 and more than 800 veterans work for us, according to Curtis Belen, a senior human resources consultant who oversees our Inclusive Culture Team.

veteransThe Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency has named us a gold-level Veteran-Friendly Employer, the highest certification the state offers, for three consecutive years. In a separate, independent ranking, Military Times put us on its “Best for Vets” list.

Belen, who served in the Army National Guard for more than 20 years, has played a key role in getting veterans into positions using attributes they developed in decades of military service such as discipline, decision-making, determination and dependability.

“We want to deliver the same type of service that we provided in the military,” he says. “That’s really what sets the veteran apart.”

From serving country to serving customers

William Rich enlisted in the Navy in 1998 and served until 2018. He traveled the world repairing radar and communications systems. He started at Consumers Energy in 2018 as an electric meter operations field leader and quickly understood skills he learned in serving his country are useful to serving our customers.

As a Chief Petty Officer, Rich led large groups of men, so he fit right into a leadership role.

The Navy also taught Rich the value of teamwork and how to work on large-scale projects. He brings that mindset to the crews he manages in Adrian, Battle Creek and Jackson.

“There’s a big picture to the whole thing,” Rich said. “You can’t be that guy who’s only going to do your part without coordinating with everyone else.”

The military also taught Boulis and Rich to remain focused when tasks go awry, traits that our key to serving customers during storms and other challenging circumstances.

“In the military, we’re very mission-oriented and goal-driven. Mission accomplishment is key — same here,” Boulis said. “We don’t want to leave anybody without power. That’s our priority — to make sure the customer has what they need at any cost necessary — as long as you do it safely.”

Learn more about how veterans are helping our customers at www.ConsumersEnergy.com/veterans.