Michelle Aikman Joins Washington Gas

It is with great JOY and CELEBRATION that I share I recently joined the Washington Gas team as the new Community Engineer!

Washington Gas, a WGL Company, delivers natural gas to more than one million residential, commercial and industrial customers throughout Washington D.C., and the surrounding region. The Community Engineer role is a new one for the company and was created within the Corporate Social Responsibility group to support Corporate Engineering in navigating community issues related to large pipeline installation and maintenance activities. The company strives to strengthen community relationships while providing the growing region with safe and reliable energy services.

This position and this company could not be a better fit for me and I am thrilled that the hiring team also agreed!

For those of you who don’t know, my spouse is active-duty military and our mobility has made career progression and business ownership challenging but as military spouses do so well, I took on many challenging opportunities along the way not knowing if they would ever lead to progression and a marketable skill combination and qualification set. This new chapter is my career is a turning point, pulling all of those experiences together! This hiring team saw the beautiful combination and I am extremely grateful for their open-mindedness and interest in looking beyond the common perceptions that prevent many employers from seeing and capturing the amazing talent within the military spouse community. They also properly assessed my skills and experience, diverse as it is, and compensated me appropriately. Underemployment, by pay or job duties, is a major issue for military spouses so this was another big win. I am proud to say Washington Gas got it right! I hope other companies take note because military spouses make up a high-value talent pool and when properly integrated and compensated, greatly enhance the talent diversity and can transform organizations in a short period of time.

I am ecstatic to open this chapter of my career as our family nears military retirement and I can look farther into the future than I have had the ability to do previously. It is also a welcomed achievement that comes after many years in the entrepreneur space and feeling the heartache of closing the door on a venture that we poured ourselves into and was full of potential but the path forward did not work for all members of the team. My skills and experiences are even more diverse and robust because of my entrepreneurial journey so I am thankful for every moment I spent working with my team towards our vision and having the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those we served. Thank you to my team and all of you who supported Cerno! It was a wild and awesome journey together.

My new role combines all of my experiences as a chemical engineer, validation engineer, forensic engineer, utility engineer, business owner, speaker, trainer, talent management consultant, and communicator (including my McBride Honors Program minor in Public Affairs! Thanks Colorado School of Mines!). I look forward to tying it all together to provide a critical link and perspective that will help the company act on its corporate social responsibility vision. THANK YOU to every person who mentored me, extended a helping hand, championed my vision, and gifted me with your friendship. I appreciate every one of you because you have guided me and opened doors that have led me to this point. A special thank you to the National Academy of Sciences for also offering me a phenomenal opportunity.

It is an honor and a joy to join Kelly and Daminique in Mr. Huey Battle’s Community Outreach group and be a part of the Washington Gas team!

May you all have peace in your hearts that your next chapters are grand and you will come upon those wonderful page turns when the moment is perfectly right and not a moment sooner. CHEERS to new chapters my friends!

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