Rolling Out

Carolyn J. Bermudez fuels Black excellence by leading a major utility company

Carolyn J. Bermudez fuels Black excellence by leading a major utility company
Photo courtesy of Carolyn J. Bermudez

Carolyn J. Bermudez was born and raised in South Carolina where she earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from South Carolina State University. Bermudez is a strategic and accomplished energy leader with more than 30 years of natural gas utility experience in operations, financial analysis, regulatory affairs, customer relations and system integrations. Today, Bermudez is the president of Georgia operations at Liberty Utilities, an investor-owned, regulated natural gas utility headquartered in Columbus, Georgia. In her role with Liberty, Bermudez serves approximately 55,000 customers. 

As a Black woman, what do you consider your superpower to be? 

As a Black woman, I consider my superpower to be my mental and emotional strength. My strength is essential in managing my responsibilities as a wife, mother and president of a natural gas utility.

What thoughtful or encouraging piece of advice would you give to your younger self? 

My advice to my younger self would be to believe in [myself] and be comfortable being uncomfortable. 

Why is it important for women of color to work in leadership roles and decision-making capacities?

Without women in leadership roles that look like us, it is hard for young Black girls to see themselves in those roles. It’s critical to have someone who understands your life experiences, the challenges you must overcome in the workplace and provide guidance and support as someone who has successfully navigated rough waters.

 If you could thank any Black woman for her contributions to history and society, who would it be and why?

I would honestly thank my mom. She instilled in me my uncompromising integrity, my fortitude and the desire to be more.  My mother was determined I would attend college regardless of our financial resources. I remember my first day of orientation and not having enough money to settle my account. My mom, who at this point suffered from debilitating arthritis, proudly stood in line after line until she found the money I needed to stay in school, while her healthy daughter hid in the shadows too embarrassed and ashamed. I thank my mom because of who she was and what she gave.

As a successful woman in business, what is your proudest achievement? 

My first job in the natural gas industry was in 1987. When I started, there were no Black executives and only one woman. I did not see opportunities for me with the company but then I had a family, and priorities changed. I settled in and worked hard. I progressed to a manager and watched others less knowledgeable and qualified than myself move up to director and executive roles. My career changed when a Black executive, who forced me outside of my comfort zone, didn’t just challenge me, he demanded me to do more. It is because of his support and encouragement that I had my proudest achievement. I became the first [female] executive of operations at Southern Company Gas, leading the Florida City Gas natural gas utility.


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