Every year during Black History Month we gather to recognize DTE employees for their exceptional leadership and mentorship, acknowledging them as trailblazers for establishing pathways of success for others to follow. This year, we’re honoring William Morris, Joyce Hayes Giles and Juanita Ray for their commitment to service.
Juanita Ray is a role model and leader, breaking ceilings as the first Black woman of multiple positions. She’s the president of DTE’s largest union, Utility Workers Union of American (UWUA) Local 223, sits on the national executive board of UWUA and is a former board member of Power Generation’s executive board, and she was the first Black woman to hold each of those titles.
Since Juanita joined DTE in 2000, she’s been an active union member, inspired by her mother’s passion and commitment in the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union, who constantly pushed her to overcome perceptive barriers of being Black and being a woman.
“For me, it’s about speaking up for those who don’t have a voice,” said Juanita. “I enjoy being a part of the labor movement and representing our employees who do a majority of the work to supply energy to our customers.”
William Morris is known throughout DTE for his servant leadership and dedication to help young people prosper. William has pioneered grassroots community service programs, like Coats for Kids, where he’s worked with colleagues to raise money and handpick coats for hundreds of students in Detroit schools, and they hand deliver them to the kids themselves. “We create a fun, informal atmosphere to connect, joke and laugh with these students. It’s a really great time,” said William.
William is also a key leader in several mentorship efforts, including DTE’s Summer Youth Internship program, where his passion goes beyond DTE. William serves as a mentor and takes students to different jobsites to provide a hands-on experience, but he also takes them to educational places they haven’t experienced before, like the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and the Heidelberg Project, where they got to speak with the artist, Tyree Guyton.
“The Summer Youth Internship program has been the highlight of my career,” said William. “It gives us the chance to break negative stereotypes of African American men, and help students, especially young Black men, realize their potential.”
Joyce Hayes Giles is a trailblazer in every community she’s a part of. Within DTE, Joyce recently served as chairwoman of the DTE Energy Foundation board, chief ethics officer and senior vice president of Public Affairs, along with many other executive roles. Outside of DTE, Joyce serves on multiple boards: Detroit Public Schools District Foundation, The Charles Wright Museum of African American History, The University of Detroit Mercy Alumni Board, Health Alliance Plan of Michigan, and The Music Hall.
At DTE, Joyce developed community engagement programs that inspired 22,000 employee volunteer hours throughout Michigan. “In my leadership role throughout my career, I felt great success in helping my employees and mentees reach their highest potential,” said Joyce.
Her passion and efforts have led to recognitions like “Top Influential Women in Corporate America”, Detroit Urban League “Distinguished Warrior,” and she was inducted into the Hall of Honor by the University of Detroit Mercy College of Business Administration.
Joyce learned the value of hard work and education in attaining success at a young age, and has been dedicated to help her community achieve the same. “I get tremendous satisfaction from helping others, particularly those who are less fortunate,” said Joyce.