Mike Baum, manager, DO Logistics, lived aboard the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea for three and a half years and served two extended, seven-month deployments, one in the West Pacific and another that took him around the world during his service in the U.S. Navy from 1980-1984. His biggest takeaway from these experiences was the exposure to other cultures and people.
“As an 18-22 year old, I developed a real appreciation for how we live as Americans – we have lots of opportunity,” Mike said. “And the freedom we enjoy here is what our military has sacrificed greatly for.”
Throughout his twelve years at our company, Mike’s woven serving his community into his work. In 2016 he launched a volunteer opportunity here that engages employees to serve as Tutors for elementary school children at Detroit Public Schools, through Tutor Mate. The program is still going strong and this year is targeting 90 tutors serving under Heather Storey’s leadership. In the 1st three years, the program has tutored over 100 students.
Currently, Mike chairs our company’s VETS energy group and over the last year, applied his eye for operations, by leading the group to create four key focus areas to support veterans: transition, disabled, homeless and deployed. VET members help identify veteran needs in these four areas, both within the company and in the surrounding community, and provide necessary resources and support.
This year, the VETS group worked together to install a wheelchair ramp for a locally disabled veteran and arranged for him to have a new electric wheelchair, sent care packages to deployed vets, including DTE employees, deployed spouses, and their units who are serving our country around the world. The group also visited recovering veterans in hospitals during VA Hospital Week in February and supported recruiting initiatives to help attract military veterans to our company.
“DTE’s Veteran Energy Group offers members a way to support fellow veterans in the community that have very real, very pressing needs,” said Mike. “And, it also allows us to provide employment opportunity for veterans transitioning back to civilian life. We participated in a dozen different initiatives in 2019, and look forward to a strong positive impact in 2020.
Alicia Davis, a United States Marine Corps electrical repair specialist and today, a security system analyst at DTE’s Fermi Nuclear Power Plant, is also a member of DTE’s VETS employee resource group and serves on the homeless subcommittee. She recently volunteered for the Monroe VFW’s Operation Silent Night benefit dinner, sponsored by DTE to raise funds to provide holiday gifts for local veterans and their families. “It’s so rewarding to be able to do something tangible for my fellow veterans.”
At DTE, Alicia appreciates the company’s approach to teamwork, which mirrors her experience as a Marine Corps specialist stationed both here in the U.S. and in Japan from 1992-1997. “Support positions are valued just as much here at DTE as they were in the military,” Davis shared. “Everyone has a piece and individual input is how big things get done.”
The combination of military service and being a DTE employee runs across Davis’ family. Nine family members served in all four military branches and her son and son-in-law are currently on active duty stateside. Two of those service members are DTE employees and one a DTE retiree with decades-long careers, which to Alicia, is no surprise.
“The sense of purpose in the military is to protect each other, to keep each other safe and in so many ways, it is a big part of my work at our company, which I’m so proud of,” said Alicia. “Ensuring that everyone is safe while completing their work is challenging but it makes me feel so proud because it truly matters.”
Alicia added that she experienced the value of diversity both during her military service and in her career at DTE. “My time in the military exposed me to a huge range of people and ways of thinking and it’s the same here at our company… it’s how I’ve learned so much and grown both serving my country and with my team here.”
At DTE, we know veteran employees offer unique perspectives and insights that enhance our ability to be creative, solve problems and make us a better company. We proudly invite veterans to share their skills and talents and explore a career in energy with us. For more information about DTE Energy’s career opportunities, go to DTEenergy.com/careers.
Daniel Riordan, U.S. Marine Corps., Structural Management Journeyman (DTE)
Thomas Davis, U.S. Air Force, RET., and a retired DTE employee.
Steven Davis (Alicia’s husband), U.S. Marine Corps., Supervisor, Response Force, Nuclear Security, Ops Crew D3